by Ivor Gurney
They will walk there, the sons of our great grandsons and
Will know no reason for the old love of the land.
There will be no tiny bent-browed houses in the
Twilight to watch, nor small shops of multi-miscellany.
The respectable and red-brick will rule all,
With green-paint railings outside the front door wall;
And children will not play skip-games in the gutter,
Nor dust fly furious in hot valour of footer;
Queerness and untidiness will be smoothed out
As with any steam-roller tactful, and there'll be no doubt
About the dust-bins or the colour of curtains,
No talking at the doors, no ten o'clock flirtings,
And Nicholas will look as strange as any
Goddess ungarmented in that staid company,
With lovely attitude of fixed grace,
But naked and embarrassed in the red brick place.
We see her well, and should have great thanksgiving,
Living in sight and form of more than common living.
She is a City still and the centuries drape her yet;
Something in the air or light cannot or will not forget
The past ages of her, and the toil which made her,
The courage of her, the army that made not afraid her,
And a shapely fullness of being drawn maybe from the air;
Crystal or mellow about her or above her ever:
Record of desire, apparent of dreamer or striver
And still the house between the Cotswolds bare
And the Welsh wars, Mistress of the widening river.
Last updated July 01, 2015