The Stone

The traveller journeying on the road alone
Sees by the highway side an ancient stone
& finds it pleasant in the weary day
To sit him down & wear an hour away
The strongest hand of mischief meddld more,
& failed to move or break or turn it o'er.
The man of feeling knew it when a boy
The only thing that nothing could destroy
& just the same as then it now appears
The fragment maybe of some hundred years
Beside the stone the wild flower gathers high
No grazing horse can bite or trample nigh
& smaller birds contented & alone
Can sit & shelter by the ancient stone

Pet MS A61 p60
(On a sheet addressed to Clare at Northborough)
Northborough Sonnets, p75

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