Long, low building with whitened walls
Now emerged from days of old to greater fame
Where creation written on a widened sky
Secured its place renowned with more than words;
For, among the fond remembrance of a child's mind,
Innocence still lives, remote and far away,
And stays unburdened by the cares of life,
Preserved as refuge from the turmoil found today.
Was this turf the inspiration for a secret world
Where thoughts were primed with fives and sevens
To nurture generations upon a thousand thrills
Now held forever bound in books?
Was this the place where invention flowed
To surge now more in ink than ever water gushed
With the rushing stream to the wide blue river yonder;
And will that borne end when, now, her soul is hushed?
Where are those children of another year?
Do they still haunt this frozen site
As sculptures holding spirits in disguise?
And, if passed with the fleeting hour,
Do they hail from old thatch roofs
To echo through a thickening haze,
Despite the gathering dust of time,
And keep alive those childhood days?
Her fame has faded to a dappled shade
In the old world charm of a bygone age;
But other craftsmen have worked their art
To fan in nature that lasting flame.
Bowers, wherein a thousand blooms display,
Now beckon toward one more bouquet
As the gaze is directed to vistas fresh
Where ponds now lie and fountains play.
Where those adventures gained their form,
Scents are wafting through the shrubs;
Now, larch and sycamore rake the skies,
Above those lawns so nobly tined:
Flowers nod their sleepy heads as if on springs,
Where hidden treasures behind green hedges dwell,
And dream of tunnels to island castles
Remembering scenes from that ceaseless well.
© David Paley