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Poem by James Montgomery

Lines Written under a Drawing of Yardley Oak

THIS sole survivor of a race
Of giant oaks, where once the wood
Rang with the battle or the chase,
In stern and lonely grandeur stood.

From age to age it slowly spread
Its gradual boughs to sun and wind;
From age to age its noble head
As slowly withered and declined.

A thousand years are like a day,
When fled; no longer known than seen:
This tree was doomed to pass away,
And be as if it neer had been;

But mournful Cowper, wandering nigh,
For rest beneath its shadow came,
When, lo! the voice of days gone by
Ascended from its hollow frame.

O that the poet had revealed
The words of those prophetic strains,
Ere death the eternal mystery sealed!
Yet in his song the oak remains.

And, fresh in undecaying prime,
There may it live, beyond the power
Of storm and earthquake, man and time,
Till natures conflagration-hour.

James Montgomery

James Montgomery's other poems:
  1. Hail to the Lord's Anointed
  2. Dale Abbey
  3. The Laurustinus
  4. Parted Friends
  5. A Voyage round the World

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