Lines Composed Upon Abergavenny by Mark Stevick

Ceri Shaw
11/22/17 01:59:10AM
568 posts

    Learn here thy stem and true descent.


      Up from the fens leapt the sun’s morning,

      cleared the brick millrace

            and light foot stepped

      the greening fields awake,

      the slept cows unbuckled.


      Out of the sounds flew the dove’s mourning;

      bell and bleat corralled

            the tilting stiles,

      the bramble hedges squared

      in the slope of my sight.


      And down the lanes went my own walking,

      dashed the nervous hares

            in the glad land,

      the sun that day to ring

      a year upon my hand.


      Into the shires crept the church spiring

      piers and pediments;

            a steeple clocked

      my birthday’s chimed advance

      toward the motionless dark.


Under the elms spilled the tombs’ dumbing

      stones, supine or prone,

            in such collapse

      as carves the countenance

      a mortal epitaph.


      Then in their rooms the bells kept turning—

      for the graving ground

            all pinned with mums

      and with these natal eyes.

      Now let this sun be sheathed.