by | Oct 12, 2009 | Poetry | 0 comments

Haweswater’s drawn low by the long summer drought
Tree-crested Wood Howe stands solitary now.
The valley lies bare and untouched by the plough
Chapel Bridge bows over a hollow of ground.
Deer from Martindale Forest once reived your crops
Though many would come, only a few would return
For the last sound they’d hear was the crack of the gun.
Down from Patterdale, Martindale and Troutbeck
At the Dun Bull shepherds once gathered and met.
The Ullswater Foxhounds would muster there too
As the clamour for water from Manchester grew
And the name on their lips, poor Mardale, was you.
To the great maw of war, you would sacrifice all-
Down would come Goosemire, and down would come Hall
And your church was the last of your buildings to fall.
‘We knew it was coming, our dead would be raised
And water would flood where the cattle once grazed.
We left in the morning, who cared what we said?
Like cattle to market away we were lead.’
And now comes the rain; Haweswater will fill
While the standing stones watch from a far distant hill.
As the water laps over the village that’s dead
And the sheep, never once, even lifted their head.


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