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Much as our fathers saw it –
Green slopes, rolling hills,
Beyond: valley and dale,
Copses carpeted with bluebells
In the last weeks of spring.

Islands of leaves, the forest
Spreads out over much
Of what falls into view,
Final vestige of the first-born
Child, the native of earth.

Summoned by distant rhythms,
Lifelines wind unstilled
Crossing meadows and fields,
Rivers wandering, not aimless
But unhurried, slide by.

Coverlet azure, endless,
Stretching, reaching out
Its wings, gathering each
Of four corners of the landscape
Under warmth's tender smile.

Hamlets seem unobtrusive,
Dot this bas-relief;
Their homes must yet host sleep –
Ne'er a movement visible
On the threads that entwine

Life; it goes on, yet
Who knows what tragedy awaits it?
Pernicious tendency
Of time to cast a shadow!
Merchant of doubt, deception's offspring
Is well-named the vision-dimmer ....
Speak to me no more; Scorn answers:

"Vaguely saw I spirits dancing
In the half-light, moon and stars' gift,
Caught imagination laughing
And I followed, chasing hope's wish;
Taught the twisted strands of memory
To perceive what reason belied,
Let the present fall behind me;
Past and future now envelope,
They can never be denied."
Denis Alsford atop the crag, Bradgate Park
photo: Stephen Alsford

Created: November 17, 2014. © Stephen Alsford