Speak to me, Shenandoah! You're old, and I am young. In valley down below And all your hills among, Dinosaurs have once roamed, With open, hungry eyes; Mammoths made you their home Amid the sheets of ice - Taller than Mount St. Helen You once stood on the earth; Reaching and touching heaven - Through all the death and birth You towered, proud and mighty, Seeing and knowing all, Parted and yet united - Each mountain and the whole - Seeing trees grow and wither, Animals live and die, Thunder, tornado, blizzard - Elements you defy, But stand, evincing shadow In the sun's morning rays Over the forests, meadows, And in the time and space. You stood here when the red man Hunted and roamed the lands, When the wise, painted shaman At bonfire, in a trance, Healed ailments and diseases, Arrows and spears dislodged And contacted deceased ones And spirits in sweat lodge, And when the white man landed And drove the red man hence, You stood in pain and sadness But let the life advance. The ages have eroded you - The water and the wind; The workers have exploded you Railways and roads to build - You are worn out, tired, Shadow of what you were - In forests you're attired Now, as you were before In ice caps. Appalachia! You've seen and known it all - The vagaries of nature, Tsunamis in man's soul - Both ignorance and wisdom, Both viciousness and bliss, The muteness of deceased ones, The symphony that lives In people and in nature In oceans and the skies: In beauty and in danger Life grows and multiplies - For millions of years You stood and saw and heard And caught life unawares Like, in a trap, a bird And wrung from its beaked mouth The universal song: You are the life's storehouse! The planet's skeleton! All lived, died, decomposed And left its dust in you - There resting in repose Under the sky of blue - And as you see and know The world, both old and new, My teacher - Shenandoah - Give me your wisdom too!