Plainfield Historical Society
P.O. Box 283
Plainfield, VT 05667


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Warning! by Sylvia Bliss

Sylvia Hortense Bliss (1870-1963) was a poet and author. This is her Warning! from 1929, written in Plainfield and still relevant today.

More information about Sylvia can be found in the Vermont Historical Society collection and in a story done by Channel 22 WVNY



Let us post trespass notices for Nature, who issues none for herself.

The wild gardens of the northern United States will soon be open and ready for inspection, -- the pine wood with its trailing arbutus, the swamp with its iris and lady's slipper, the pond with its sweet white water lilies, and the mountain top with its sandwort and cinquefoil.

Let us tread lightly and gather sparingly. If we plunder the gardens of the rich, if we despoil the Arnold Arboretum, and the Botanical Gardens in the Bronx, retribution is swift and sure; yet our sin is less than if we exterminate the trailing arbutus in yonder wood or render a swamp barren of orchids. For the gardens of the rich will be replanted and the arboretum and botanical gardens made to bloom again, -- but who will replant the wood and the swamp? Who will restore the arbutus and lady's slipper, the water lily and the maidenhair fern?

Sad indeed will the lot of man, woman and child in time to come if our beautiful wild plants are no longer on the earth. A single orchid in a glade is more lovely than fifty massed blossoms. Good taste, as well as the greater virtues of economy and altruism are on the side of the careful hand.

Let us respect the rights of others, even to the tenth and twentieth generation.


Plainfield, Vermont
April 1, 1929