THE OAK OF GUERNICA
The ancient oak of Guernica, says Laborde in his account of
Biscay, is a most venerable natural monument. Ferdinand and
Isabella, in the year 1476, after hearing mass in the church of
Santa Maria de la Antigua, repaired to this tree, under which they
swore to the Biscayans to maintain their "fueros" (privileges).
What other interest belongs to it in the minds of this people will
appear from the following.
SUPPOSED ADDRESS TO THE SAME
OAK of Guernica! Tree of holier power
Than that which in Dodona did enshrine
(So faith too fondly deemed) a voice divine
Heard from the depths of its aerial bower--
How canst thou flourish at this blighting hour?
What hope, what joy can sunshine bring to thee,
Or the soft breezes from the Atlantic sea,
The dews of morn, or April's tender shower?
Stroke merciful and welcome would that be
Which should extend thy branches on the ground,
If never more within their shady round
Those lofty-minded Lawgivers shall meet,
Peasant and lord, in their appointed seat,
Guardians of Biscay's ancient liberty.