‘The Tavern Of Last Times’
by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
“At Box Hill, Surrey
A modern hour from London (as we spin
Into a silver thread the miles of space
Between us and our goal), there is a place
Apart from city traffic, dust, and din,
Green with great trees, where hides a quiet Inn.
Here Nelson last looked on the lovely face
Which made his world; and by its magic grace
Trailed rosy clouds across each early sin.
And, leaning lawnward, is the room where Keats
Wrote the last one of those immortal songs
(Called by the critics of his day ‘mere rhymes’).
A lark, high in the boxwood bough repeats
Those lyric strains, to idle passing throngs,
There by the little Tavern-of-Last-Times.”
With Surrey Libraries’ Poetry Recital Competition fast approaching a Surrey based poem seemed appropriate.