Oxhill News

www.oxhill.com / www.oxhill.org.uk

South Warwickshire, England.

The Oxhill News

February 2004

Oxhill

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February
Editorial
Cover Picture
Parish Council
Mobile Phones
Service Times
Festival Choir
Lost Property
Marathon Sponsorship
Xmas Puddings
Late News
For Sale
Nature Notes
Garden Club
Stratford Operatic
Vandalism
Kissing Gates
Village Hall News
W.I. Report
25 Years Ago
Poetry Corner 1
Poetry Corner 2

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Poetry Corner - The Shades of Night

Take One

The shades of night were falling fast,
As through an Alpine village passed
A youth, who bore, 'mid snow and ice,
A banner with the strange device, Excelsior!

His brow was sad; his eye beneath,
Flashed like a falchion from its sheath,
And like a silver clarion rung
The accents of that unknown tongue, Excelsior!

In happy homes he saw the light
Of household fires gleam warm and bright;
Above, the spectral glaciers shone,
And from his lips escaped a groan, Excelsior!

"Try not the Pass!" the old man said;
"Dark lowers the tempest overhead,
The roaring torrent is deep and wide!"
And loud that clarion voice replied, Excelsior!

"Oh stay," the maiden said, "and rest
Thy weary head upon this breast! "
A tear stood in his bright blue eye,
But still he answered, with a sigh, Excelsior!

"Beware the pine-tree's withered branch!
Beware the awful avalanche!"
This was the peasant's last Good-night,
A voice replied, far up the height, Excelsior!

At break of day, as heavenward
The pious monks of Saint Bernard
Uttered the oft-repeated prayer,
A voice cried through the startled air, Excelsior!

A traveller, by the faithful bound,
Half-buried in the snow was found,
Still grasping in his hand of ice
That banner with the strange device, Excelsior!

There in the twilight cold and gray,
Lifeless, but beautiful, he lay,
And from the sky, serene and far,
A voice fell like a falling star, Excelsior!

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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Last modified: June 04, 2004