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Poem by Ebenezer Elliott

The Maltby Yews

FAMED Maltby yews, with trunks like stone!
Are you or these gray rocks the older?
Like death-in-life, ye strangely grow,
And, dead alive, they sternly moulder.
Memorials grand of death and life,
That seem from time new life to borrow!
Full many a race have ye outlived
Of men whose lives were crime and sorrow.
Age after age, while Time grew old,
Your writhen boughs here slowly lengthened;
Storm-stricken trees! your stormy strength
Five hundred years have darkly strengthened.
Yet safe beneath your mighty roots
The busy bee hath made its dwelling;
And, at your feet, the little mouse,
With lifted hands, its joy is telling.

And high above the full-voiced lark
The sun, that loves to see you, beameth
On lonely rock or mossy trunk,
That with the rock coeval seemeth;
While, all around, the desert flowers,
Where breezes drink their freshness, gather,
As children come to kneel and bend
In prayer around their fathers father.	

O, could I write upon your gloom
A solemn verse that would not perish,
My written thoughts should warn and bless,
And nations saved the precept cherish;	
For I would bid the dark and strong
Be greatly good, and daily stronger,
That power to wrong, and will to wrong,
Like fiends divorced, might pair no longer.

Ebenezer Elliott

Ebenezer Elliott's other poems:
  1. Cloudless Stanage
  2. Plumpton
  3. Win-Hill
  4. Roch Abbey
  5. The Tree of Rivilin

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