Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Well at Badbea. A Love Poem

The Well at Badbea.

Nobody drinks now at the Grey Hen’s Well at all,
Not even the wayfarer on the long moor road;
For they are dead, my people: ‘Twas only the call
Of the pee-weet remembered me where the houses stood.

O house of my fathers with the red moor about you,
How have you vanished in the dust that gave you birth!
Doth even the storm forget to blow without you
Because you have gone the way of all earth?

Where are the children that drink in the Wishing Well,
Slaking their sweet red throats; and the maids and men
So earnestly wishing for love; they tell and tell
In your still water their secret desire again.

They are all vanished my people, and their dwelling
Has sunk down to the last grey senseless stone;
And they are no more than a tale that stirs one in telling.
‘Tis told: but the Grey Hen’s Well stays on alone.

And I search and search in all the world’s lonely places,
On moors and shores and on the misted hill:
Hoping to catch a glimpse of the kindred faces;
For I think that behind your shadows they live on still.

MacLeod, Angus, ‘The Well at Badbea’, John G Sinclair, Anthology, The Edinburgh John O Groat Literary Society Magazine, Edinburgh, 1970


                                              The still water that only keeps a spider's web


                                             O house of my father's...How have you vanished


                                Doth even the storm forget to blow without you

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