Hill Rise to Shaddelows farm

Children’s voices on dancing tones meet my ears,
this lonely corner of Suffolk
so fixed in the mind.
Here I am again, in visions land of secrets.
None but you know my heart.
The ‘poets tearful fooling’
has caused me to wander this way again,
in visions windy autumn madness.

Now as my day dulls,
the souls of a million spirit passengers
accompany me,
and from that nether world,
tied cottage babies cry
for the return of mothers and fathers
from the fields of sweat and toil,
in their cold cradles,
where the nails stick out
of makeshift wooden misery.

A hundred thousand thoughts
mixed in the smoke and mirrors
of today’s lip service platitudes,
where ‘Experts’ make Ex Cathedra statements
about my Kith and Kin.
One once said in my hearing,
“Hard work never killed anyone!”
Well, it killed my forefathers,
when men like flowers were cut and withered,
while tyrant landlords lived off the fat of the land.

But now I walk with this landscape
made sure in God’s memory,
I see the fields
where my mother worked her hands to the bone,
and the good farmer cried himself to sleep at night.
Let us all sleep now;
the church clock with its dead voice tolls out,
‘Evening is done,’
England is at rest.

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