Home  »  Poems of Places An Anthology in 31 Volumes  »  The Well of St. John

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


The Well of St. John

By Robert Stephen Hawker (1803–1875)

On Morwenstow Glebe

THEY dreamed not in old Hebron, when the sound

Went through the city, that the promised son

Was born to Zachary, and his name was John,—

They little thought that here in this far ground,

Beside the Severn sea, that Hebrew child

Would be a cherished memory of the wild;

Here, where the pulses of the ocean bound

Whole centuries away, while one meek cell,

Built by the fathers o’er a lonely well,

Still breathes the Baptist’s sweet remembrance round:

A spring of silent waters with his name,

That from the angel’s voice in music came,

Here in the wilderness so faithful found,

It freshens to this day the Levite’s grassy mound.