Robert Southey

For a Tablet at Penshurst

ARE days of old familiar to thy mind,
O Reader? Hast thou let the midnight hour
Pass unperceived, whilst thou in fancy lived
With high-born beauties and enamored chiefs,
Sharing their hopes, and, with a breathless joy
Whose expectation touched the verge of pain,
Following their dangerous fortunes? If such lore
Hath ever thrilled thy bosom, thou wilt tread
As with a pilgrim’s reverential thoughts
The groves of Penshurst. Sidney here was born,—
Sidney, than whom no gentler, braver man
His own delightful genius ever feigned,
Illustrating the vales of Arcady
With courteous courage and with loyal loves.
Upon his natal day an acorn here
Was planted; it grew up a stately oak,
And in the beauty of its strength it stood
And flourished, when his perishable part
Had mouldered dust to dust. That stately oak	
Itself hath mouldered now, but Sidney’s fame
Endureth in his own immortal works.

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