[These notes were made in 1987:]. William Alexander was Archbishop of Armagh 1896�1911. I would wish to give Fanny Alexander the principal author's credit, although the order is reversed on the title-page, because Mrs. Alexander's work comes first in the book, is larger in quantity, and I think ultimately more significant. The reason I say that is that although most of her simple, stanzaic, pious lyrics (in a long section appropriately marked "Hymns") are not particularly remarkable, there are a few among them which have had a disproportionate influence on those of us who grew up going to church - namely "All Things Bright and Beautiful," "Once in Royal David's City," and "There is a Green Hill Far Away." The last, especially, had an almost painful effect on my youthful imagination. I notice, by the way, that we sang "All Things" without a politically sensitive verse in the middle which proclaimed God's establishment of the class system! As for the works of the Archbishop, they are of a completely different order, and display a vivid if not particularly controlled visual sense. From what little I know of Victorian poetry, I would say they bear a marked imprint of Matthew Arnold, especially one effusion which begins "Yes" as does the famous Arnold poem (it shares the same structure too). Bishop Alexander's rhythmic sense - or lack thereof - bothers me; sprung rhythm I can hear, but this is very often unsprung. William may have had the imagination; Fanny had the ear. What qualities their son Robert had are difficult to determine from the very brief excerpt here. The fact that these people lived in Ireland explains something which became a minor mystery to me as I grew older: namely why Golgotha was described as green.