John Kenyon

(1784-1856 / Jamaica)

Rufus’s Tree - Poem by John Kenyon

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 happen'd 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!

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Langston Hughes


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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, October 12, 2010

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