Historical Reverie


Berkhampsted Castle. An Historical Reverie, 
By J.R. Crawford, M.A. Master of Berkhampsted School, printed by J. Greedy, 1861

In a poem of considerable merit Mr. Crawford has embodied some interesting historical reminiscences of Berkhampsted Castle, and has presented us with a succession of scenes sketched, as he truly says, with a few simple touches. Dwelling near the venerable relic it is to him naturally an object of interest, and he seeks to arouse the same feelings in others who, in visiting such places, are often but little inclined to regard them with the sentiments they should inspire. Berkhampsted Castle, like many a noble pile which has fallen into decay by the hand of time, has its numberless traditions, which Mr. Crawford conjures up in his Reverie. And though, as he says, ‘The Castle’s old magnificence is gone,’ he has gathered so many waifs and strays from the wreck as to secure for it a greater share of attention from those who have less studied the subject than our author. The poem is in the elegiac metre, ‘adopted despite of its ponderous gravity, because it admits of sententious antithesis and repeated change of theme.’ The stanzas bear evidence of the propriety of the selection, and many of them, particularly the opening ones describing the castle as it is, show that Mr. Crawford has not miscalculated his poetical powers. We can highly recommend this brochure, and trust it may find its way to a large circle of readers.
(Bucks Herald, Apr 1861).