The lovely glens of this green isle
Were one-time avenues of delight,
Where Nature at her work could smile
Before man cast his mortal blight.
Can artificial waterfalls
And lakes that lie in man’s design
And rustic work and concrete walls
Enhance the beauty of a chine?
I know a vale that fronts the sea,
A gracious winding verdant lane
That leads from moorlands wide and free
To wide sand and the trackless main.
Time was – I see it with an eye
Back-gazing into other years –
That pools untamed laughed to the sky,
And grass was ignorant of shears:
No surfaced road led to the beach
The coach-loads of indifferent hosts;
This heaven was beyond their reach,
Hidden amid deserted coasts.
No careful plots of tended flowers
That rigidly as soldiers stand,
No quasi-rustic summer bowers
Were there to scar the virgin land.
No shed with corrugated roof
Betrayed where man’s true self was found;
No sad amusements their reproof
Cast o’er the worn and vanquished ground.
But when night falls, her soft dark gown
Restores what other years have known.
Mona’s Herald 2.10.62