Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > England
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
England: Vols. I–IV.  1876–79.
New Forest
Rufus’s Tree
John Kenyon (1784–1856)
O’ER the New Forest’s heath-hills bare,
  Down steep ravine, by shaggy wood,
A pilgrim wandered; questing where
  The relic-tree of Rufus stood.
Whence in our England’s day of old,        5
  Rushing on retribution’s wing,
The arrow—so tradition told—
  Glanced to the heart of tyrant-king.
Some monument he found, which spoke
  What erst had happened on the spot;        10
But for that old avenging oak,
  Decayed long since, he found it not.
Yet aye, where tyrants grind a land,
  Let trees like this be found to grow;
And never may a Tyrrel’s hand        15
  Be lacking there to twang the bow!

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