Home  »  Poems of Places An Anthology in 31 Volumes  »  Chaucer and Windsor

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
England: Vols. I–IV. 1876–79.


Chaucer and Windsor

By Thomas Campbell (1777–1844)

LONG shalt thou flourish, Windsor! bodying forth

Chivalric times, and long shall live around

Thy Castle the old oaks of British birth,

Whose gnarléd roots, tenacious and profound,

As with a lion’s talons grasp the ground.

But should thy towers in ived ruin rot,

There ’s one, thine inmate once, whose strain renowned

Would interdict thy name to be forgot;

For Chaucer loved thy bowers and trode this very spot.

Chaucer! our Helicon’s first fountain-stream,

Our morning star of song,—that led the way

To welcome the long-after coming beam

Of Spenser’s light and Shakespeare’s perfect day

Old England’s fathers live in Chaucer’s lay,

As if they ne’er had died. He grouped and drew

Their likeness with a spirit of life so gay,

That still they live and breathe in Fancy’s view,

Fresh beings fraught with truth’s imperishable hue.