The Fir Tree and The Bramble

A tree argues with a bramble about status when the lumberjack comes to cut the tree down. Oooops.

Better poverty without care, than riches with.

A Fir Tree boasted to the Bramble: “You have no use, while I am used in construction everywhere.” The Bramble answered: “To be used, you have to be cut down. Think on that and have reason to wish you grew up as a Bramble.”

JBR CollectionJBR Collection

Fir Tree and BrambleThe Fir-tree treated with contempt the Bramble that grew at its foot. “I am put to many high and noble uses,” said he boastfully. “I furnish taper spars for ships, and beams for the roofs of palaces. You are trodden under foot, and despised by everybody.” “You talk very finely now,” replied the Bramble; “but, for all that, when once you feel the axe applied to your root, you’ll wish you had been a Bramble.”

Townsend VersionTownsend version

A Fir Tree said boastingly to the Bramble, “You are useful for nothing at all; while I am everywhere used for roofs and houses.” The Bramble answered: ‘You poor creature, if you would only call to mind the axes and saws which are about to hew you down, you would have reason to wish that you had grown up a Bramble, not a Fir Tree.”


Better poverty without care, than riches with.

Crane Poetry VisualCrane Poetry Visual


Fir and Bramble

The Fir tree looked down on the Bramble.
“Poor thing only able to scramble
About on the ground.”
Just then an axe sound
Made the Fir wish himself but a Bramble.

Pride of place has its disadvantages.

1001Abies et Dumus

Fertur olim abies despicere dumos. Iactitat se proceram esse, locari in aedibus, cum velo stare in navibus; dumos autem humiles, viles, nulli usui idoneos. Quorum quidem tale fuit responsum, “Tu sane, abies, tuis gloriare bonis, et nostris insultas malis. Verum nec tua refers mala, et nostra praeteris bona. Cum tu sonanti detruncaris securi, quam velles tum nobis, qui securi sumus, esse te similem!”

Perry #304