Thursday, September 27, 2007

We Got There - More To Follow

Just to wet your appetite - a quick blog to say we got down to Bristol, spent overnight in the Floating Harbour opposite Hotwells. We are now on our way back - lots of pictures and one or two stories to share when I get more time!

In the meantime - how about this poem. I think it is rather good, but also very sad. Thank goodness things have improved on the K & A

The Old Canal: by “Mitch”

a member of St Michaels Without, Bath, printed in the Parish Magazine of September 2007

“Back in the 1960s, one of my favourite walks was along the Avon – Kennet Canal from Widcombe to Limpley Stoke. This piece of verse says what it looked like then!

‘Tis dawn. The old canal from slumber deep awakes
‘Neath coverlet of still enshrouding mist,
With lances held aloft, the reeds, in milit’ry array
Stand guard along the bank as tho’ the day should be resist’.

But in glory doth the sun arise, to cross the vaulted blue,
And light the hedgerow tall, with golden shaft,
Her dewy bosom lies agleam, enhung with diamond lace
In ‘splendant beauty from the spider’s craft.

Ve’ed ripples gently stir the yellow lily, as the vole,
E’er watchful, paddles silent to the bank,
To disappear in safety ‘neath the clustered marigold.
Deadly marigold! You may well grow dank!

In anguish doth the willow trail its cloak of sombre green
O’er long stagnated pool. Whilst all unheed’,
The dog-rose threads her Way thro’ tangled growth, and leans
To glimpse her blushing face betwix’ the reed.

Where steely hoof once sought to grip the narrow cinder way,
The bindweed, now a pink-flecked carpet twines,
And in the growth so verdant, where the earth and water’s meet,
Ragged robin courts the celandines.

Across the languid surface, weed encrusted now with time,
The gaudy flags triumphantly embrace,
To seal at last the quiet reach where busy moorhens throng,
And rotting hulk reclines to mar the grace.

So weep thou willows, weep, as nevermore
Will laden barge disturb the placid waters ‘neath thy shade,
And ne’er again shall sweaty flank brush past the scented way-
Their labour now is done, their bones have clayed."

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