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RUINSRUINS

How my heart aches for the high, open Downs:
I’m sick of the streets and the noise of towns:
I long for the wind and the deep, springy turf
And to hear from afar the thunderous surf.

I want to see how the shadows run
As the racing clouds bedim the sun;
To chase the rabbits and hear the cries
Of seagulls wheeling in clear-swept skies.

How my heart yearns for scenes gone by,
For things that have pass’d like clouds in the sky:

For tea on the lawn
‘Neath the ancient yew;
The terrace at dawn
Still sparkling with dew.
Clear voices – soft
In the calm evening air,
The bell in the loft
From some old Téméraire.
The coming of swallows
And catkins and lambs,
Of mushrooms in hollows
And wading for clams.
The flicker of firelight
On rich panell’d walls,
The books in the library,
The carved Tudor Hall.
The old Norman tower,
With its ivy and trees,
And the rose-tressel’d bower
With its views of the sea.

But though I am distant and far from their sway,
They live in the mind transmuting each day:
They are life-giving symbols that dwell in the soul
And nourish the spirit and make a man whole.
But conscious I am of a still deeper truth;
That ‘tis not just for places we yearn:
But the loss of our youth and the golden hours
That have gone and will never return.

picture and poem @Thurstan Bassett

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