B. B. Wiffen

From Notes and Queries, Feb. 21, 1852.

Remarkable Trees.--Affixed to a tree in the beautiful and spacious park of Woburn Abbey, is the following sonnet; the tree, according to the local tradition, being that upon which the last abbot of that religious house was hung; or to borrow a pun from Professor Sedgwick, "They took the abbot from his house, and suspended him."

"O! 'twas a ruthless deed, enough to pale
Freedom's bright fires, that doom'd to shameful death
Those that maintained their faith with latest breath,
And scorn'd beneath the despot's frown to quail!
Yet 'twas a glorious hour when from the gaol
Of Papal tyranny the mind of man
Dared to break loose, and triumph in the ban
Of thunders warring in the distant gale!
Yes, old memorial of the mitred monk,
Thou livest to flourish in a brighter day;
With seeming joy, that pure and patriot vows
Are breath'd where superstition reign'd: thy trunk
Its glad green garlands wears, though in decay,
And pious red-breasts warble from thy boughs.

B. B. Wiffen

I am not aware whether these lines have ever been printed before.

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