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Hugh Macnaghten to Margaret Llewelyn Davies - 1907

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Letter of condolence from Hugh Macnaghten to Margaret Ll.D., 25 April 1907


Eton College, Windsor.
Wednesday, April 24. [1907]

Dear Miss Davies,
I knew nothing till last night, when I returned here and found your letter – and Mr Barrie’s telegram. That is why I was not there. No further test could have made him nobler than he was – indeed he was tried to the uttermost, and triumphed over all. Only one wants something simpler than that to say of him – it was also simple, so natural to him, so much the best that I have known.
Thank you for writing.
Yrs. very sincerely,
Hugh Macnaghten



Thanks be to God for all brave men
And women, and not least for you,
From show and seeming alien
To self inalienably true.

Boy-like you gloried in the strife,
Wresting from adverse chance, success,
And love triumphant crowned your life
And all the rest was nothingness.

Even in the shadows of the gloom
You found through all no cause for blame,
Nor faltered face to face with doom,
Self-vindicating, still the same.

And, dying, helpless as you lay,
Thanks be to God, you helped a friend,
And kept the single native way,
With her beside you, till the end.

Hugh Macnaghten

[Peter's comments:]

I believe these lines, written out by Margaret Ll.D., were included in one of Hugh Macnaghten’s published volumes of verse, but I have not a copy. Perhaps it is nice to preserve it here for the sake of its sincerity; the sincerity of a moderate poet but a good man and a true friend, who will reappear in these pages in connection with George and Michael.


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