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Poem by William Wordsworth
Hart’s-Horn Tree, near Penrith
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!
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