The Trojan Trysting Tree at URC Courtyard

The Trojan Trysting Tree stands by the central stairwell in the University Religious Center’s courtyard. Trysting trees are an old Northern European tradition: they are trees where people meet in “trust”. At the trysting tree, couples pledge their love to each other.

The Trojan Trysting Tree celebrates spiritual commitment in its many forms – religious, romantic, and more. Behind and below the tree, under the stairwell, is a wire on which locks are latched as symbols of these commitments… like the locks placed by lovers on the rails of the Pont Neuf Bridge over the Seine River in Paris, and at a fence at the corner of New Hampshire Ave and Hollywood Blvd in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles.

Dedication Poem by Engie Salama, Interfaith Council President

"Under the Trojan Trysting Tree Please stay with me for a spell; Beneath its branches hold my hand And the truth of my heart I'll tell."
“Under the Trojan Trysting Tree
Please stay with me for a spell;
Beneath its branches hold my hand
And the truth of my heart I’ll tell.”
“Under the Trojan Trysting Tree
Please stay with me for a spell;
Beneath its branches hold my hand
And the truth of my heart I’ll tell.” (Jim Burklo, 2014)

From my profound love for you,
My lover, my brother, my sister, my friend
May this love I have for you always transcend
The struggles, the fights and the arguments.
From my profound love for you,
My spiritual sibling, my teacher, my leader
I am compelled to share this love and pray
For all things good, in this life and the next
And the ability to appreciate each day.

I pray for you, for health & for wealth
For beauty and goodness, for joy and for peace
I pray that your beautiful smile may never cease
I pray that you may be happy in all of your days
And I pray that you only increase in faith

I pray for justice and peace on Earth
May the fickle hearts of men know love’s worth
A love of devotion, love of commitment
A love that inspires, love that heals
A love that brings us together
And a love that promotes harmony
Between people of all creeds
And under this Trojan Trysting Tree
I pray for you and me.

I pray for strength, I pray for guidance
I pray for unwavering devotion
I pray for the serenity to accept things I cannot change
I pray for the courage to change things that I can
And I pray for the wisdom to know the difference.

Under this Trysting Tree I profess
The love in my heart for all humanity
And the sincere prayer to alleviate their suffering
May they find solace in love and beauty comforting
May the controller of hearts bless them with peace
And may the hate in our hearts forever cease
May the suffocating veil of oppression be lifted
And may this world no longer be afflicted

“Long may you live, my worthy friend
You dear old Trysting Tree
Long may your branches proudly wave
Majestically and free
To mind us of those happy days
Spent at old U.S.C.” (adapted from “Trysting Tree”, 1908, Oregon State University)