Sir Nameless, once of Athelhall, declared: "These wretched children romping in my park Trample the herbage till the soil is bared, And yap and yell from early morn till dark! Go keep them harnessed to their set routines: Thank God I've none to hasten my decay; For green remembrance there are better means Than offspring, who but wish their sires away." Sir Nameless of that mansion said anon: "To be perpetuate for my mightiness Sculpture must image me when I am gone." - He forthwith summoned carvers there express To shape a figure stretching seven-odd feet (For he was tall) in alabaster stone, With shield, and crest, and casque, and sword complete: When done a statelier work was never known. Three hundred years hied; Church-restorers came, And, no one of his lineage being traced, They thought an effigy so large in frame Best fitted for the floor. There it was placed, Under the seats for schoolchildren. And they Kicked out his name, and hobnailed off his nose; And, as they yawn through sermon-time, they say, "Who was this old stone man beneath our toes?"
- by Thomas Hardy (1840 - 1928), "The Children and Sir Nameless" [author's text checked 1 time against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by (Edward) Benjamin Britten (1913 - 1976), "The Children and Sir Nameless", 1953. [tenor and piano] [text not verified]
Researcher for this text: Rob Davies
This text was added to the website: 2012-03-11
Line count: 24
Word count: 184