Looking Back on Vectis

 

Oft have I wondered what that isle,
Lying ‘neath Albion like an egg
Where she puts forth her western leg,
Was like, and if it could beguile.

Five isles I count upon my hand,
For Skye and Arran, deep of glen,
And Mona, home of my own ken,
With Anglesey and Vectis stand;

Nor one save where I live
Has felt the impress of my feet.
I wonder if their life is sweet,
And what of fancy they could give.

Now having sampled Vectian fare
I find the island sweet to me.
A gentler than mine own I see,
With drier earth and warmer air.

The spirit of the hunted Charles
From Carisbrooke has not yet flown;
And Tennyson’s, above the Down,
Points where the wrinkled sea still crawls.

At Quarr the Brothers live austere;
Sandown and Shanklin souls excite;
The Needles glare in sunshine white;
At Alum Bay the cliffs are sheer.

Though Parkhurst hides among the trees
I get the sense that not all’s joy;
That, ‘spite the beauty, each small boy
With us could one day be like these.

St. Catherine’s sits in the south
And keeps its eye on Channel Ships.
The Vectian maids have cherry lips,
Their island an inviting mouth

That waits expectant of a kiss,
And once you’ve yielded to the lure,
You cannot ever more be sure
To find elsewhere such perfect bliss.

19. 7. 28