“I think that I shall never see A poem lovely as a tree … Poems are made by fools like me, But only God can make a tree.”
Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918). Title poem, Trees and Other Poems, 1914. Kilmer was killed in action during World War I.

Once upon a time, a long time ago, there lived a people called the Cherokee. Now these were good, hard working people. But somehow, they got the idea that life would be better if day time lasted 24 hours and there was no night time at all. They called a meeting of the chiefs and beseeched their Creator, 'Ouga', to put an end to the night. And so it came to pass that night time ceased to exist.

At first, the Cherokees were happy. But soon, plants and trees became so dense that it was nearly impossible to find one's way. Long hours were spent in the field pulling out weeds and it got very hot. People grew irritable from lack of sleep and they fought among themselves.

So once again, the chiefs convened and they beseeched their Creator to set things right. They told him they had been wrong and that they thought night time 24 hours a day would be the best solution. Because the Creator loved the Cherokee people, he did as they asked and night fell upon the earth for a long, long time.

It wasn't long before the Cherokees realized they had done another grave mistake. This time, no vegetation grew at all. There was nothing left to eat and hunting was not an option since it was too dark to see. The Cherokees were cold and hungry; many of them died.

Once more, the chiefs beseeched their Creator and they pleaded and begged him to return things as they were at the beginning. They had realized that everything had been just perfect as it was.

The Creator, who loved the Cherokees very much, did as they bade him do and brought back the days and the nights. But the fact that many people had died during the long nights saddened him and so he created a special tree which he named a-tsi-na tlu-gv, now known as the Cedar, and he immortalized the souls of those who had perished by placing them in it.

And so goes the legend of the Cedar as it has been told by generations of Cherokees. To this very day, Cedar wood is believed to hold strong protective powers and some Cherokees still hang a piece of Cedar wood above their doors to keep evil spirits away.

… To those western poets,
the word “Lebanon” is a poetical expression associated with a mountain
whose sides are drenched with the incense of the holy cedars.
It reminds them of the temples of copper and marble
standing stern and impregnable
and of a herd of deer feeding in the valleys.
That night I saw Lebanon dreamlike with the eyes of a poet.
Thus the appearance of things changes according to the emotions,
and thus we see magic and beauty in them,
while the magic and beauty are really in ourselves.

Khalil Gibran. The Broken Wings, 1912

Beyond All Vision