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

New Forest

Rufus’s Tree

By John Kenyon (1784–1856)

O’ER the New Forest’s heath-hills bare,

Down steep ravine, by shaggy wood,

A pilgrim wandered; questing where

The relic-tree of Rufus stood.

Whence in our England’s day of old,

Rushing on retribution’s wing,

The arrow—so tradition told—

Glanced to the heart of tyrant-king.

Some monument he found, which spoke

What erst had happened on the spot;

But for that old avenging oak,

Decayed long since, he found it not.

Yet aye, where tyrants grind a land,

Let trees like this be found to grow;

And never may a Tyrrel’s hand

Be lacking there to twang the bow!