The Bardic Chair Poem. London, 1926. [The Burial of David Livingstone.]

[Rev. George Walton Keesey (c.1875-1936), 'known to many as the "Congregational Bishop of East London"'] [David Livingstone; Metropolitan Free Church Federation Eisteddfod, 1926.]
Publication details: 
London: Forest Gate Press, The Grove, Stratford, E.15. [1926?]
SKU: 6199

8vo, [19 pp]. In original grey printed wraps. On lightly aged paper, with unevenly trimmed edges, and in slightly worn wraps. Short ink inscription at head of front wrap. INSCRIBED by the author's wife 'To my very dear Daughter Marian In happy memory of dear Pater the Author May 4th. and May 24th. 1936'. Full-page illustration of the 'Metropolitan Free Church Federation Eisteddfod, 1926. Grand Bardic Chair Presented by John Weir, Esq.' A curious mixture of pagan and Christian. A brief 'Foreword' explains how the poem won the 'Great Bardic Chair Competition, 1926', giving the judges' names and describing the presentation at 'the Central Hall, Westminster, February 11th, 1926' ('The Rev. Elvet Lewis, M.A., Arch Druid, conducted the proceedings.'). A cut above McGonagall, the poem consists of 36 12-line stanzas. The following extract is pretty representative: 'With Afric's unguents, such as could be found, | The body they embalmed with anxious care, | That Britain's son might lie in British ground | From whence he went for Christ to do and dare.' Two newspaper cuttings of obituaries laid down inside the front wrap: the first, dated 9 May 1936, headed 'Death of the Rev. G. W. Keesey, Well-known Congregational Minister'; the second headed 'East London's Congregational "Bishop". Rev. Keesey Memorial Service'. COPAC only lists copies at the British Library and the Bodleian.