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Thanks for permission to include poems and extracts are due to the following:
Mr. William Watson and Mr. John Lane for The Father of the Forest.
Mr. W. H. Ogilvie for Ode on a Roman Helmet, from 'The Land we love', published by Fraser, Asher & Co., Ltd., Glasgow and Dalbeattie.
Rev. F. M. Temple Palgrave for F. T. Palgrave's Paulinus and Edwin, and Crecy.
Mr. Alfred Austin for The Spotless King.
Ellis for an extract from D. G. Rossetti's The White Ship.
THE FATHER OF THE FOREST
For prologue to our book we have chosen this majestic vision of one of the noblest of living poets, wherein 'as from a tower' we gaze down that long vista of English history which these pages seek to illuminate.
OLD emperor Yew, fantastic sire,
Girt with thy guard of dotard kings,What ages hast thou seen retire
Into the dusk of alien things?
What mighty news hath stormed thy shade,
Already wast thou great and wise,
On that proud morn when England's eyes,
Hardly thou count'st them long ago,
The warring faiths, the wavering land, The sanguine sky's delirious glow,
And Cranmer's scorched, uplifted hand.
Mourned not the rumouring winds, when she,
Ah, thou hast heard the iron tread
And clang of many an armoured age,
Captains or counsellors brave or sage,
Knew'st thou the virtue, sweetness, lore,
The roystering prince, that afterward
Such as our warrior fathers loved-
His battles o'er, he takes his ease,
Like forest branches arch and coil.
Roofed by the mother minster vast
Sleeps in his bed of sculptured stone,
The monarch who, albeit his crown
O'er Wallace and Llewellyn dead,
Or that disastrous king on whom
The Keep of Pomfret kept full well;
That, starred with idle glory, came
The barren splendour of his fame,
The Conqueror, in our soil who set
Perhaps thou minglest-who shall say?—
And phantoms of the mistier day,
What years are thine, not mine to guess!
Witless of time the unageing sky!
Of fair-haired despots of the sea
From their long ships of norland pine,
Their surf deer', driven o'er wilds of brine.
61. disastrous] ill-starred, unfortunate.
88. Witless] ignorant.
76. thew] strength.
Nay, hid by thee from Summer's gaze
Camped on yon down the hosts of Rome, 100
As by the Cataracts of the Nile
Or where the lakes are one blue smile
Where, under Asia's fevering ray,
O'er Tigris passed, and with dismay
And 'mid their eagles watched on high
The gorgeous star-flight of the East
Flamed, and the bow of darkness bent
With ancient echoes, as I lay?
Was it the wind befooling me
Was it the antic fantasy
Whose elvish mockeries cheat the day? Surely a hollow murmur stole
From wizard bough and ghostly bole:
Goodly the loud ostents to thee,
And pomps of Time: to me more sweet The vigils of Eternity,
And Silence patient at my feet;
And dreams beyond the deadening range
126. bole] trunk of a tree.
127. ostents] wonders.