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The Fox’s Prophecy Poem.


The Fox’s Prophecy was written in 1871 by D. W. Nash and presented to the then master of the Ledbury Hounds. It the respect of Dartmoor it bears no relation but when Dartmoor is taken as part of the United Kingdom it very much reflects our times. It is eerie how prophetic these words have turned out to be especially in light of the recent ‘Britexit’ vote, terrorism, the economy, immigration and other issues. It is hard to imagine how relevant these lines which were written some two hundred years ago could be applicable to today.

Foxes Prophecy

For swiftly o’er the level shore
The waves of progress ride;
The ancient landmarks one by one
Shall sink beneath the tide.

Time-honoured creeds and ancient faith,
The Altar and the Crown,
Lordship’s hereditary right,
Before that tide go down.

Base churl shall mock the mighty names
Writ on the roll of time;
Religion shall be held a jest
And loyalty a crime.

No word of prayer, no hymns of praise
Sound in the village school;
The people’s education
Utilitarians rule.

In England’s ancient pulpits
Lay orators shall preach
New creeds, and free religions
Self-made apostles teach.

No harvest feast nor Christmastide
Shall farm or manor hold;
Science alone can plenty give,
The only God is Gold.


Homes where love and peace should dwell
Fierce politics shall vex,
And unsexed woman strive to prove
Herself the coarser sex.

Mechanics in their workshops
Affairs of State decide;
Honour and truth old fashioned words
The noisy mobs deride.

The statesmen that should rule the realm
Coarse demagogues displace;
The glory of a thousand years
Shall end in foul disgrace.

Trade shall be held the only good
And gain the sole device;
The statesman’s maxim shall be peace,
And peace at any price.

Her army and her navy
Britain shall cast aside;
Soldiers and ships are costly things,
Defence an empty pride.

The footsteps of the invader
Then England’s shore shall know,
While home-bred traitors give the hand
To England’s every foe.

But not for aye yet once again
When purged by fire and sword
The land her freedom shall regain
To manlier thoughts restored.

Taught wisdom by disaster,
England shall learn to know
That trade is not the only gain
Heaven gives to man below.

The greed for gold departed,
The golden calf cast down,
Old England’s sons again shall raise
The Altar and the Crown.


About Tim Sandles

Tim Sandles is the founder of Legendary Dartmoor


  1. Thank you for this

  2. Frightening and regrettably accurate.

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