|A mere one thousand years ago,
King Alfred marched this crest of chalk
To fight the Danish foe,
And strained to see that very lark.
In this same Saxon blue.
Just two thousand years ago,
The feet of Rome stamped here and here
Upon this bouncing turf,
And glittering, ravenous conqueror’s eyes
Devoured these seemly, gentle hills.
From here, four thousand years ago,
The men of Bronze surveyed their works
Through eyes as wide as mine,
As wondrous Silbury, virgin white,
Bedazzled in it’s prime.
And here, six thousand years ago
Gazed Neolithic eyes
On wonders older still:
On tombs of Kennet, Avebury Henge
And ancient, ancient Windmill Hill.
Now they are gone, those mighty men,
Those Lords of all they saw,
And only I am left to walk
This high and winding lonely lane,
Whilst all around, on deep-etched hills,
Their proud, immortal marks remain.
What voice commands, what power compels
That such as they should go?
It is the same insistent call
As whispers in my ear:
There is a time for mortal men,
You may not linger here.
Perhaps, like mine, their spirits soared,
Above this magic land,
Perhaps they both rejoiced and cried
At beauty unconfined,
Perhaps this final earthly view
Blazed in dying eyes.
Perhaps that spark has never died,
And essences remain.
For see that joyous soaring lark
And hear it’s blissful cries.
It could not be more free than I,
Nor joyful nor fulfilled:
Perhaps no power, no time, no death
Can take me from these hills.
Posted by nigelswift
30th June 2003ce