(A plea for the preservation of the globe's oldest
mountain from devastation by axe and fire.)
From out the primal sea I rose on high,
Above the clouds I kissed the sunlit sky,
My rock the oldest in this rock-built earth:
When I was born, it was the great world's birth.
Long million years my crumbling sides did yield,
To rain and frost and wind, a fertile field
For widening Piedmont plain and ocean shore.
Now nature kind assails my life no more;
At last in verdure soft and warm I'm clad,
'Mid sapphire skies my emerald peaks are glad.
But hark! what frightful terror, new and dire!
'Tis human greed for gold! 'tis axe and fire!
O mighty State, prevent this deed of shame,
This great dishonor keep from thy great name!
-George Tayloe Winston.
Asheville, January 19, 1915.