Poems 31

We R 7 Fold

 Now in the We R Seven Fold

          Was drawn a merry company

Of careless youth which kept aloof

From wine and women, and, forsooth

From everything that gave them proof

          Of shackled liberty!

 

And what high revels did they hold?

          This very merry company

A happy band which roamed the land

And sought and found on every hand

The beauty spread by Nature’s wand

          Each season’s livery!

 

Yet was their festive humour fold

          This ever ready company!

Which sought upon the dining board

The tempting viand – the liquid poured

And many a pantry’s gourmet-hoard

          To hold high revelry!

 

 

          Untitled and almost certainly unfinished (regrettably)

 

North and west from Richmond Town

          There lies a highland wide and fair

Where roads go rolling up and down

          And into woodlands winter-bare.

 

I rode to keep a trysting time –

I feared no storm the year did store

Nor feared the icy-fingered rime

          Nor stealthy snow that drifted o’er.

 

The grey November day did hold        

Dim vistas flung on moor and vale

The nearer ridges grey and cold

          The farther fells in etching pale.

 

The sweeping river far below

          Did merit more than casual glance

As did the remnant autumn glow

          Betimes the gloomy moor enhance.

 

The tryst I kept by Marrick den

          In dalliance thus the day was spent

Till shadows lengthened in the glen

          The shadow-wraiths that came and went.

 

They came emboldened by the night

          They flung their cloak o’er tree and stone

Made all the earth bereft of light –

          Hill, vale, and river, all as one.

 

The path was on my mind emboss’d

          Each darken’d eve returning late

Quite certain I could ne’er be lost

          ‘Tween Marrick Tower and Richmond Gate!

 

I prayed to see above the glen

          The frosty moonshine wan and high

To soften the view within my ken

          And secret shades to beautify.

 

But now I stumbled in the night

          While round the icy devils press

My light flung back upon my sight

          A circled, sightless, spaciousness!

 

The snorting beast with chilling sweat

          Beneath me plunged in frenzied fear

Or panted in a woeful fret

Or ceaseless champed the bridle gear.

 

What ailed my beast, my faithful nag

          Erstwhile so fleet and sure of foot

Twas not her nature thus to lay

          Nor mine to weild the spurred boot.

 

From a loose MS in Charlie’s poetry book.

I think this is not Charlie’s work, but if not, whose ??

Unfortunately, that concludes all that is in Charlie’s notebook.

 

 

Poems 30

Letter to a friend and wife in Oslo who wrote to us in rhyme.

 

The Reply

 

Our Dear Friends

With great delight I start to write

(How better could I pass a night)

And take my pen in cosy den

Fast shut from Winter’s shivering ken

My sole desire beside the fire

Close by me all I might require.

 

My laggard mind has words to find

And in the spell of ink to bind

Then sealed and true, across the blue

I send my captured thoughts to you

Soviq – Sigurd – what magic heard

What dreams of Norsemen in the word

What visions limm of Vikings grim.

 

What ancient tales of romance brim

What childhood thrill is with us still

What mighty feats of warlike skill

They held in thrall the Celt, the Gaul

They were the scourges of them all

And long ago the Viking prow

Filled all the coasts with fear and woe.

 

Now what remains but just the names

To fit our pictures into frames

A memory stored in Fell and Fiord

And Thwaite and Solviq and Sigurd!

You have the skill you have the will

You have the Viking spirit still

Your ships still rove by creek or cove

The sea is still your greatest love

 

How happy we who feel to be still

Part of that great family

And one dark year a message clear

(flashed round your land)

‘THE NAVY’S HERE!’

Although so far away you are

Our deepest thoughts we still can share

And should you be in our country

Then what a merry company!

 

The Winters Tale would never stale

Nor burden us the icy gale

Perhaps within an English Inn

Our understandings could begin.

A lighter vein would be our strain

And perfect accord our refrain

While English ale could scarcely fail

To send us stumbling down the scale

Then home we’d wend with wavering trend

Discussing how to make amend

To wives who wait in furious state

Our very hearts to devastate

How much more wise to harmonise

Beneath those wives’ approving eyes

And when we’ve nursed our precious thirst

To quench with coffee at the worst –

How happy then in sober den

To be acclaimed quite perfect men.

 

That could not be, for such as we

are weaker far than wives could be.

So now I may close down my lay,

And write you in the normal way

The strain is hard to be a bard

Solviq, good-day, Good day,Siqurd               Margaret and Charles.   March 1955

 

Poems 29

                                        I Know!

 Now creeps the autumn of my years

Concedes a lavering of the gears

And pace that once I’d reckon slow

          I Know  –  I Know

          And yet I can’t let go!

 

There’s still the magic of the Springs

And still the spirit blithely sings

What then if mileage works out low?

          I Know  –  I Know

          But I cannot let it go!

 

I learn to watch with picture clear

The changing seasons of the year

I mark the timeless ebb and flow

          I Know  –  I Know

          And will not let it go!

 

The little things I used to miss

Now hold my undiluted bliss

With time enough to watch things grow

          I Know  –  I Know

          And this I can’t let go!

 

And be the seasons white or green

Or all the variants in between

With rain or sun, or freeze or blow

          I Know  –  I Know

          I never shall let go!                              July 1954

 

Poems 28

Alas!

 A snack bar in Glynceiriog

          And tar o’er Wrynose Pass

A five bob thrill down Gaping Ghyll

          What have we next, alas!

 

I saw a car on Hard Kott

          Heard radio in Cwm Glas

The army drills on the Cheviot Hills

          What follows next, alas!

 

A lime-works spreads in Edale

          And powders white the grass

There’s an oily reach all round our beach

Where creeps it next, alas!

 

They’re damming up Glen Affric

          Glen Ericht and Strath Glass

Festoons of wire to rouse our ire

          Where goes it next, alas!

 

They’ll pollute all our rivers

          They’ll tarmac every Pass

They’ll put hotels on all our fells

          And all we say’s, alas!

 

With new lakes all around Snowden

          And chara-bancs en masse

Our rights to prove, we’ve just one more –

          To emigrate – alas!

During a weekend in the Berwyns  Oct 1952

 

                     The End

 There isn’t a possible doubt

          A fact I needn’t commend

A truth nobody can flout –

          A beginning must have an end.

 

No matter the name of a thing

          No matter the form, my friend

What pleasure our efforts may bring

Is what we must judge in the end.

 

It began, this work of a few

          All points of view to blend

But lack of assistance from You

          Has precipitated The End.         Jan.1953 – for the final issue

of the Chester D.A. Magazine ‘Awheel’.

 

Poems 27

Re – Union

 

Now “We.R,7”, once again

I claim your kind attention,

And suit your mood unto my strain

Another meet I’ll mention.

 

Another day to set apart,

          Another time of meeting

Another rendezvous to start

          Another annual greeting.

 

Another afternoon of talk

          Another tale unravel

Of how we ride, or how we walk

          Another year of travel.

 

We know not if we’ll meet again

          Or if we’ll all be present;

So let’s each other greet again

          An make that greeting pleasant!

 

Another more, another less,

          Another, yet another

And none of us next year can guess

          If there will be no other!                       Autumn 1950

 

The  Gossip

 

And now this winter’s eve we sit

  • And shiver by the embers low

And wonder why I do not quit

          Except, except I’ve nowhere else to go.

 

While e’en next door an elder lady sits

          Guarding the stairs, the stairs that lead to bed

While we, to pass, puzzle our poor wits

For fear of all, of all she’s not yet said.

 

Friday’s rain in rapid torrents poured

          Yet not, yet not so rapid as the lady’s tale

Released as from some miser’s ample hoard

          Descending on our shoulders, on our shoulders frail.

 

Tomorrow well may weather fiends conspire

          To bar the path, the path that leads away

Yet with what joy we’ll face what will transpire

          To where there’s nothing more to say!          Much Wenlock Easter 1951

Poems 26

             Twenty Years Ago

 

Twenty years ago I knew

Riding hard a cycling crew

Whose mileage on a Sunday ride

Would range the country far and wide

          Twenty years ago.

 

Twenty years ago they’d meet

At time when cycling was feat

Every day was heaven-sent

The weather called for no comment

          Twenty years ago.

 

Twenty years ago Tom rode

Sixty miles to one he woo’ed

Sixty back on Sunday night

And worked next morning fit and bright

          Twenty years ago.

 

Twenty years ago old Fred

Slaved all the week for daily bread:

When weekend came you’d find him fit

To take aboard his camping kit

          Twenty years ago.

 

Twenty years ago there sped

From Abram way another Fred

Who toiled in pit the lifelong day

Yet chose the weekend cycling way

          Twenty years ago.

 

Twenty years ago Bill’s mind

Was on his wayward flock inclined

Until a damsel he espied

And from the fold he strayed aside

          Twenty years ago.

 

Twenty years ago two chaps

Famed far and wide for strange mishaps

Blackberry Joe and Wally Kay

Sped on their erratic way

          Twenty years ago.

 

Twenty years ago one Jack –

At anything he’d have a crack

I think he found a final cure

Upon a Devon tandem tour

          Twenty years ago.

 

In twenty years I see a change

As the old horizons range

But Joe and Bill, a loyal pair

The rest is just as if it were

          A Hundred Years Ago!               Summer 1948

                             

                       By George!

 At How Stean Gorge, by George!

Just watch Tom Gorge, by George!

With eggs and ham, of damn

Aye, genuine eggs and ham!

 

At How Stean Beck, by heck!

Tom had a reck, by heck!

While we sat glum, by gum

Honestly  feeling glum!

 

Oh what a biz, gee whizz!

That lunch of his, gee whizz!

That was a feed indeed

A thundering jolly good feed!

 

And what had we, by gee!

Poached egg and tea, by gee!

The same to pay, I say

We’d just the same to pay!

 

And now I’ll add, by gad!

A moral sad, by gad!

Take all you can, old man

Take all you jolly well can!                   After Easter 1949