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


Inscription for a Stone

By William Cowper (1731–1800)

Erected at the Sowing of a Grove of Oaks at Chillington, the Seat of T. Gifford, Esq., 1790

OTHER stones the era tell

When some feeble mortal fell;

I stand here to date the birth

Of these hardy sons of earth.

Which shall longest brave the sky,

Storm and frost,—these oaks or I?

Pass an age or two away,

I must moulder and decay;

But the years that crumble me

Shall invigorate the tree,

Spread its branch, dilate its size,

Lift its summit to the skies.

Cherish honor, virtue, truth,

So shalt thou prolong thy youth.

Wanting these, however fast

Man be fixed and formed to last,

He is lifeless even now,

Stone at heart, and cannot grow.