common name given to various species of trees

Yew is a common name given to various species of trees. It is most prominently given to any of various coniferous trees and shrubs in the genus Taxus.

Of vast circumference and gloom profound ~ Wordsworth

Quotes edit

  • Now from yon black and fun’ral Yew,
    That bathes the Charnel House with Dew,
    Methinks I hear a Voice begin;
    (Ye Ravens, cease your croaking Din,
    Ye tolling Clocks, no Time resound
    O’er the long Lake and midnight Ground)
    It sends a Peal of hollow Groans,
    Thus speaking from among the Bones:
      When Men my Scythe and Darts supply,
    How great a King of Fears am I!
    They view me like the last of Things:
    They make, and then they dread, my Stings.
    Fools! if you less provok’d your Fears,
    No more my Spectre-Form appears.
    Death’s but a Path that must be trod,
    If Man wou’d ever pass to God:
    A Port of Calms, a State of Ease
    From the rough Rage of swelling Seas.
      Why then thy flowing sable Stoles,
    Deep pendant Cypress, mourning Poles,
    Loose Scarfs to fall athwart thy Weeds,
    Long Palls, drawn Herses, cover’d Steeds,
    And Plumes of black, that as they tread,
    Nod o’er the ’Scutcheons of the Dead?
    • Thomas Parnell, "A Night-Piece on Death", Poems on Several Occasions (1722)
  • Old Yew, which graspest at the stones
      That name the under-lying dead,
      Thy fibres net the dreamless head,
    Thy roots are wrapt about the bones.
    The seasons bring the flower again,
      And bring the firstling to the flock;
      And in the dusk of thee, the clock
    Beats out the little lives of men.
    O, not for thee the glow, the bloom,
      Who changest not in any gale,
      Nor branding summer suns avail
    To touch thy thousand years of gloom:
    And gazing on thee, sullen tree,
      Sick for thy stubborn hardihood,
      I seem to fail from out my blood
    And grow incorporate into thee.
  • Old warder of these buried bones,
      And answering now my random stroke
      With fruitful cloud and living smoke,
    Dark yew, that graspest at the stones
    And dippest toward the dreamless head,
      To thee too comes the golden hour
      When flower is feeling after flower;
    But Sorrow—fixt upon the dead,
    And darkening the dark graves of men,—
      What whisper’d from her lying lips?
      Thy gloom is kindled at the tips,
    And passes into gloom again.
    • Alfred Tennyson, "In Memoriam A.H.H." (1850), XXXIX
  • Some country nook, where o’er thy unknown grave
    Tall grasses and white flowering nettles wave—
      Under a dark red-fruited yew-tree’s shade.
  • No triumph and no labour and no lust,
    Only dead yew-leaves and a little dust.
  • What of the bow?
      The bow was made in England:
    Of true wood, of yew-wood,
      The wood of English bows;
        So men who are free
        Love the old yew-tree
    And the land where the yew-tree grows.
    • Arthur Conan Doyle, "The Song of the Bow",
      The White Company (1891); Songs of Action (1898)

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations edit

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 921.
  • Careless, unsocial plant! that loves to dwell
    'Midst skulls and coffins, epitaphs and worms:
    Where light-heel'd ghosts and visionary shades,
    Beneath the wan, cold Moon (as Fame reports)
    Embodied, thick, perform their mystic rounds.
    No other merriment, dull tree! is thine.
  • For there no yew nor cypress spread their gloom
    But roses blossom'd by each rustic tomb.
  • Of vast circumference and gloom profound,
    This solitary Tree! A living thing
    Produced too slowly ever to decay;
    Of form and aspect too magnificent
    To be destroyed.
  • There is a Yew-tree, pride of Lorton Vale,
    Which to this day stands single, in the midst
    Of its own darkness, as it stood of yore.

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