During the summer of 1882, Mary Baker Eddy spent several weeks in Vermont at the home of one of her students. She had retired there after the sudden passing of her husband, Asa Gilbert Eddy, on June 2. Her stay in Vermont gave her a refuge while she worked through issues of grief and lonliness. On August 2, just days before her return to Boston, she wrote “The Oak on the Mountain’s Summit,” a one-page poem. Considered in the context of her life, the words of this poem take on deeper poignancy and vision, as she finds courage to face the future.
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THE OAK ON THE SUMMIT
From the April 1883 issue of The Christian Science Journal
This poem was later republished in Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896: Mis 392:1-17
Ah! solemn mountain at whose feet I stand,
Clouds do adorn thy brow, skies clasp thy hand;
Nature and God, in harmony profound,
With peaceful presence have begirt thee round.
And thou majestic oak, from yon high place
Guard’st thou the earth, asleep in night’s embrace?
Or from thy lofty summit, pouring down
Thy sheltering shade, her noonday glories crown?
Whate’er thy mission, mountain sentinel,
O’er my lone heart thou hast a magic spell;
A lesson grave, of life, thou teachest me—
I love the Hebrew figure of a tree.
Faithful and patient be my years as thine;
As strong to wrestle with the storms of time;
As deeply rooted in a soil of love;
As grandly rising to the heavens above.