There are regrets with every parish boundary:
Granite bricks riding over the douit
And water careening in keen esprit.
There are stories at every farmhouse,
Staked in white all those centuries ago
By men and women in earnest pursuit of the land.
There is erstwhile affection with every dolmen
Which stood to enclose the departed members
Of those families with land-toughened hands.
There is smoothness over every cobblestone,
Worn to wisdom by manifold generations
Of feet and shoes and hearts and minds.
There is peace on commonland of elfin green
Dappled yellow with gorse and celandines.
Youth in every lane
Where children ran and played,
Screamed and grumbled,
Kissed and tumbled.
There is melancholy mirth with the rain
And eager glee with the shine,
Converse as ever and never conceding.
There is sorrow, moreover, with those bypassers
To whom affairs connote more than yesteryear’s fantasy.
They step out past these marvels of old,
Never observing, and ever-unheeding.
Just beneath this engrossing layer of shallow turf
Is the great earth and the land: interlaced
Lives, loves and laughter.