Home  »  Poems of Places An Anthology in 31 Volumes  »  Monody Written near Stratford-upon-Avon

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


Monody Written near Stratford-upon-Avon

By Thomas Warton (1728–1790)

AVON, thy rural views, thy pastures wild,

The willows that o’erhang thy twilight edge,

Their boughs entangling with the embattled sedge;

Thy brink with watery foliage quaintly fringed,

Thy surface with reflected verdure tinged,

Soothe me with many a pensive pleasure mild.

But while I muse, that here the bard divine,

Whose sacred dust yon high-arched aisles enclose

Where the tall windows rise in stately rows

Above the embowering shade,

Here first, at Fancy’s fairy-circled shrine,

Of daisies pied his infant offering made;

Here playful yet, in stripling years unripe,

Framed of thy reeds a shrill and artless pipe,—

Sudden thy beauties, Avon, all are fled,

As at the waving of some magic wand:

An holy trance my charméd spirit wings,

And awful shapes of warriors and of kings

People the busy mead,

Like spectres swarming to the wizard’s hall;

And slowly pace, and point with trembling hand

The wounds ill-covered by the purple pall.

Before me Pity seems to stand

A weeping mourner, smote with anguish sore,

To see Misfortune rend in frantic mood

His robe, with regal woes embroidered o’er.

Pale Terror leads the visionary band,

And sternly shakes his sceptre, dropping blood.