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


Kensington Gardens

By Thomas Tickell (1685–1740)

WHERE Kensington high o’er the neighboring lands

Midst greens and sweets a regal fabric stands,

And sees each spring, luxuriant in her bowers,

A snow of blossoms and a wild of flowers,

The dames of Britain oft in crowds repair

To groves and lawns and unpolluted air.

Here, while the town in damps and darkness lies,

They breathe in sunshine, and see azure skies;

Each walk, with robes of various dyes bespread,

Seems from afar a moving tulip-bed,

Where rich brocades and glossy damasks glow,

And chintz, the rival of the showery bow.

Here England’s daughter, darling of the land,

Sometimes, surrounded with her virgin band,

Gleams through the shades. She, towering o’er the rest,

Stands fairest of the fairer kind confessed,

Formed to gain hearts, that Brunswick’s cause denied,

And charm a people to her father’s side.

Long have these groves to royal guests been known,

Nor Nassau first preferred them to a throne.

Ere Norman banners waved in British air,

Ere lordly Hubba with the golden hair

Poured in his Danes, ere elder Julius came,

Or Dardan Brutus gave our isle a name,

A prince of Albion’s lineage graced the wood,

The scene of wars, and stained with lovers’ blood.