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Minnesota’s Lake, Itasca

Hears the great pines bend and sway,
     Hears the wild deer’s muted whistle
Greet its mate at close of day;
     To us now who watch and listen
Cascades through both ear and lens
     Fragments of primeval secrets
To o’erwhelm our narrowed kens!

Here we search the placid waters,
     Find a microcosmic sea
Wherein hunting, hunted microbes
     Eat and live and die, as we.
Here we wander through the forest
     Magnitude past all belief;
Yet one shrub is universal
     To the aphid in its leaf.
Here beside the lake, Itasca
     We have found a rendezvous;
With all Nature’s prized beauty
     Here about our feet astrew.
To whom Fortune does so favor
     That we revel here discern
Dynamic worlds are set before us
     Let us humbly seek to learn.

—Raymond Lindeman