Hart's-Horn Tree, near Penrith

William Wordsworth

HERE stood an oak, that long had borne affixed

To his huge trunk, or, with more subtle art,

Among its withering topmost branches mixed,

The palmy antlers of a hunted hart,

Whom the dog Hercules pursued,—his part

Each desperately sustaining, till at last

Both sank and died, the life-veins of the chased

And chaser bursting here with one dire smart.

Mutual the victory, mutual the defeat!

High was the trophy hung with pitiless pride;

Say, rather, with that generous sympathy

That wants not, even in rudest breasts, a seat;

And, for this feeling’s sake, let no one chide

Verse that would guard thy memory, HART’S-HORN TREE!


Main Location:

Penrith, Cumbria, UK