The Prayer of the Woods - Allentown, PA, USA
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Lightnin Bug
N 40° 35.563 W 075° 30.648
18T E 456777 N 4493671
This monument, placed by the Allentown Rotary, presents a well known poem, the "The Prayer of the Woods".
Waymark Code: WM173FT
Location: Pennsylvania, United States
Date Posted: 12/01/2022
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member Outspoken1
Views: 1

A lot to unpack here. This is a memorial, a plaque on a rock, placed by the Allentown Rotary Club in 1975. Yes, that is cool, but the meaning is so much deeper. The text of the inscription is a well known "The Prayer of the Woods" which is widely used in memorials of the arboreal worldwide. In Allentown, it was to commemorate a nearby grove the Rotary club planted to commemorate the trees.

Here is where it gets interesting. Here is the text of the The Prayer of the Woods:

"A Friend of Man the Tree Speaks. Ye who would pass by and raise your hand against me, harken lest you harm me. I am the friendly shade screening you from the summer sun as you journey on. I am the beam that holds your house, the board of your table, the bed on which you lie, and the timber that builds your boat. I am the handle of your hoe, the door of your homestead. the wood of you cradle and the shell of your coffin. I am the gift of God and friend of man. Listen to my prayer, Harm Me Not."

This has been on postcards and also at many arboreal memorials throughout. The original poem, or prayer, is actually in Portugal. In the USA, you will see this translation of the Portuguese poem "Ao viandante," by Veiga Simões.

“The Prayer of the Woods” is said to be an English translation of a Portuguese poem. This original Portuguese poem is known as “Ao viandante”, which roughly translates as “to one who passes by” or “to the person who passes through this place””. It is said to have been written by a poet known as Veiga Simões in the month of May in 1914. This Portuguese poem is inscribed in stone near a tree inside the walls of the Castelo de S.Jorge, a castle in the capital city of Portugal, that is, in Lisbon.

Source of this knowledge:

(visit link)

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Cedar Parkway Allentown, PA, USA This is a municipal park with no official street address.

Website: Not listed

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