Inscription For A Stone Erected At The Sowing Of A Grove Of Oaks At Chillington, Anno 1790

by William Cowper

William Cowper

Other stones the era tell,
When some feeble mortal fell;
I stand here to date the birth
Of these hardy sons of earth.
Which shall longest brave the sky,
Storm and frost -- these oaks or I?
Pass an age or two away,
I must moulder and decay;
But the years that crumble me
Shall invigorate the tree,
Spread its branch, dilate its size,
Lift its summit to the skies.
Cherish honour, virtue, truth,
So shalt thou prolong thy youth.
Wanting these, however fast
Man be fixed, and formed to last,
He is lifeless even now,
Stone at heart, and cannot grow.

Last updated January 14, 2019