James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

October 28


By William Wordsworth (1770–1850)

  • Alfred the Great, King of England, died Oct. 28, 901.

  • BEHOLD a pupil of the monkish gown,

    The pious ALFRED, King to Justice dear!

    Lord of the harp and liberating spear;

    Mirror of Princes! Indigent Renown

    Might range the starry ether for a crown

    Equal to his deserts, who, like the year,

    Pours forth his bounty, like the day doth cheer,

    And awes like night with mercy-tempered frown.

    Ease from this noble miser of his time

    No moment steals; pain narrows not his cares.

    Though small his kingdom as a spark or gem,

    Of Alfred boasts remote Jerusalem,

    And Christian India, through her widespread clime,

    In sacred converse gifts with Alfred shares.