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


Composed at Rydal, September, 1860

By Aubrey Thomas de Vere (1814–1902)

THE LAST great man by manlier times bequeathed

To these our noisy and self-boasting days

In this green valley rested, trod these ways,

With deep calm breast this air inspiring breathed;

True bard, because true man, his brow he wreathed

With wild-flowers only, singing Nature’s praise;

But Nature turned, and crowned him with her bays,

And said, “Be thou my Laureate.” Wisdom sheathed

In song love-humble; contemplations high,

That built like larks their nests upon the ground;

Insight and vision; sympathies profound

That spanned the total of humanity,—

These were the gifts which God poured forth at large

On men through him; and he was faithful to his charge.