Thursday, January 22, 2009

Wiltshire Downs

The cuckoo's double note
Loosened like bubbles from a drowning throat
Floats through the air
In mockery of pipit, lark and stare.
The stable boys thud by
Their horses slinging divots at the sky
And with bright hooves
Printing the sodden turf with lucky grooves.
As still as a windhover
A shepherd in his napping coat leans over
His tall sheep-crook
And shearlings, tegs and yoes cons like a book.
And one tree-crowned long barrow
Stretched like a sow that has brought forth her farrow
Hides a king's bones
Lying like broken sticks among the stones.

Andrew Young (1885-1971)

1 comment:

Littlestone said...

Thanks to Chance for first posting this on The Modern Antiquarian. The 'one tree-crowned long barrow' mentioned might be the Long Stones Long Barrow at Beckhampton, just outside Avebury, which until recently was crowned with trees.