In honor of Earth Day today, here’s a poem that according to legend, many Portuguese people would attach to trees in their forests:
Ye who passes by and would raise your hand against me, harken ‘ere you harm me.
I am the heat of your hearth on the cold winter nights, the friendly shade screening you from summer sun, and my fruits are refreshing, quenching your thirst as you journey on.
I am the beam that holds your house, the board of your table, the bed on which you lie, the timber that builds your boat.
I am the handle of your hoe, the door of your homestead, the wood of your cradle, and the shell of your coffin.
I am the bread of kindness and the flower of beauty.
Ye who pass by, listen to my prayer, harm me not.