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Short poem

Mark Akenside (1721-1770)

For a Column at Runnymede

              1Thou, who the verdant plain dost traverse here
              2While Thames among his willows from thy view
              3Retires; O stranger, stay thee, and the scene
              4Around contemplate well. This is the place
              5Where England's ancient barons, clad in arms
              6And stern with conquest, from their tyrant king
              7(Then rendered tame) did challenge and secure
              8The charter of thy freedom. Pass not on
              9Till thou hast blest their memory, and paid
            10Those thanks which God appointed the reward
            11Of public virtue. And if chance thy home
            12Salute thee with a father's honour'd name,
            13Go, call thy sons: instruct them what a debt
            14They owe their ancestors; and make them swear
            15To pay it, by transmitting down entire
            16Those sacred rights to which themselves were born.

Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Akenside, Mark, An Ode to the Country Gentlemen of England (London: R. Dodsley, 1758). D-10 2119 Fisher Rare Book Library
First publication date: 1758
RPO poem editor: N. J. Endicott
RP edition: 2RP.1.725
Recent editing: 4:2002/1/26

Form: Blank Verse

Other poems by Mark Akenside