The first rays of the dawning sun
Shall touch its pillars,
And as the day advances
And the light grows stronger,
You shall read the names
Engraved on the stone of those who sailed on the angry sky
And saw harbour no more.
No gravestone in yew-dark churchyard
Shall mark their resting place;
Their bones lie in the forgotten corners of earth and sea.
But, that we may not lose their memory
With fading years, their monuments stand here,
Here, where the trees troop down to Runnymede.
Meadow of Magna Carta, field of freedom,
Never saw you so fitting a memorial,
Proof that the principals established here
Are still dear to the hearts of men.
Here now they stand, contrasted and alike,
The field of freedom's birth, and the memorial
To freedom's winning.
And, as evening comes,
And mists, like quiet ghosts, rise from the river bed,
And climb the hill to wander through the cloisters,
We shall not forget them.
Above the mist
We shall see the memorial still, and over it
The crown and single star.
And we shall pray
As the mists rise up and the air grows dark
That we may wear
As brave a heart as they.
This poem, engraved in a gallery window at the top of two spiral staircases at Runnymede was written by a student, Paul H. Scott,
soon after the memorial was completed in 1953.