“Sing ‘hi, lo, lay,’ at the end of the day…”

National Cathedral tour guides may try to tell you why this monster is clutching a giant molar 40 feet up on the south nave. I prefer his own explanation.

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In my dream, a Pictish maiden
Paused and prayed here half a while,
Shade and snow a-swirl around her,
Something wanting in her smile.

From my scrafe, I spied in silence,
Watched her wend round weed and hill
And rose, and passed from forests dim,
Her foremost longing to fulfill.

Late I loped through Roman markets,
Hove the doors off Saxon halls,
Plumbed the moats of Norman mansions,
Flinched, then froze, when furtive calls

Enthralled me, lost, where mental mazes
Shrank, and starlight shone by day,
Until I found the hope I sought,
Extracted it, and stole away.

Sovereigns rise and storm-clouds scatter;
Chapels fall and winters turn.
Truth survives a thousand summers:
What is lost may yet return.

In my dream, a Pictish maiden
Marches past, her patient soul
Reflecting suns that swirl around her;
After all, her smile is whole.

(For all the entries in this series, hit the “looking up” tab.)

One thought on ““Sing ‘hi, lo, lay,’ at the end of the day…”

  1. A nano-history of civilization in four lines…truly beautiful.

    “Sovereigns rise and storm-clouds scatter;
    Chapels fall and winters turn.
    Truth survives a thousand summers:
    What is lost may yet return.”

    Like

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