For a Tablet at Silbury Hill

Robert Southey


THIS mound, in some remote and dateless day

Reared o’er a chieftain of the age of hills,

May here detain thee, traveller! from thy road

Not idly lingering. In his narrow house

Some warrior sleeps below, whose gallant deeds

Haply at many a solemn festival

The scald hath sung; but perished is the song

Of praise, as o’er these bleak and barren downs

The wind that passes and is heard no more.

Go, traveller, and remember, when the pomp

Of earthly glory fades, that one good deed,

Unseen, unheard, unnoted by mankind,

Lives in the eternal register of heaven.


Silbury Hill is a massive, mysterious mound. It is part of the complex of megalithic structures which make Avebury the most interesting and impressive preshistoric site in Europe.