The Royal Oak

This England - - Contents - Wil­liam South­wood

The no­blest of trees of old Eng­land! I linger to gaze at thy might, And think of the name that men gave thee, And know in my heart they are right!

I see in thy grand no­ble bear­ing A tri­umph of nature in­deed; It dawns on me now — what a mar­vel, To rise from so tiny a seed!

How splen­did thou art at this mo­ment All blend­ing with soft mys­tic light The gold of the glo­ri­ous sunset With gloom of the on­com­ing night!

The smoke of in­dus­trial city Ne’er masks thy own glo­ri­ous pride; Just pure rus­tic breezes of nature Can rip­ple thy leaves into sighs.

Years have crept on, aye and cen­turies, Ye counted them all, one by one: Thou’st braved many cold pierc­ing win­ters And count­less times courted the sun.

And still at th’ ap­pointed of sea­sons Ye robe, as or­dained thou should’st do, And bow to the mes­sage of au­tumn Re­tain­ing the whole win­ter through.

If blessed with a tongue, though would’st tell us Thy mighty an­ces­tral line; How Druids of old came to greet thee And claim with their wor­ship thy shrine.

GRA­HAM GOUGH

JOHN BLAKE

Ma­jes­tic, an­cient oak trees in Wind­sor Great Park on the Sur­rey/berk­shire bor­der.

CHRISTO­PHER NI­CHOL­SON

Au­tumn’s ar­bo­real splen­dour abounds at Kil­ver Court Gar­dens in Shep­ton Mal­let, Som­er­set.

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