Poems 14


                              Memories        (fictitious)


I often let my fancy roam,

          And carry me once more

To those clear scenes so far from home

          Sweet Cambria’s mountain lore

Often by the firelight gleam

          When the day is done

I’ll sit for hours at once and dream

          Of hours that have gone


In memory now I’m climbing

          The Glyders rugged peak

Or, wandering on Eryri,

          Some wonder-view I seek:

I hear the breezes singing

          A welcome o’er Cwm Glas

Then as the day is fading west

          I trace some homeward pass.


How happy was the morning –

How happy were we three

When with our rope and rucksacks

          We clambered o’er the scree

That tussle on old Trifan

          I never can forget –

The fight by crevice, ledge and bluff

          The sternest rock I’ve met!


And now, friend Tom you’ve left us

          To climb some further height

We did not know that sublime day

          The horror of that night

When three go out a-climbing

          Yet only two return

How deep the dregs of sorrow then

          Are drunk from friendship’s urn!


And Fred, the mountains claimed you

          Old Lliwedd wond at last:

We three who oft together

          Unloaded dice had cast

We three were dauntless cragsmen

          How many a fight we’ve won!

But now….. I sit at whiles and think…

          ‘Now I’m the only one’!


Oh then how I desponded

          I neither feared nor cared;

I climbed the stoutest rock alone

          That no one else had dared

But still uncalled for fortune

          Kept watch and ward of me

And now I fear that life must hold

          Some other destiny.                           1925


The above poem seems to have been written, with sadness, with Charlie somehow trying to imagine what life would be like if his bosom friends  Tom and Fred expired on the mountains as in the note below, obviously some real life drama that put Charlie into thinking mode.  Charlie always fancied himself as a climber from a young age.  The following note, which seems to have had a real life background, must have left its mark!

Charlie’s Note:   They were three of the best known cragsmen on British mountains, and could always be found together at Easter and New Year time at such famed climbing houses as Wastdale Head in Lakeland, Pen-y-Gwryd or Ogwen Cottage in Snowdonia, whilst for summer climbing they invariably chose the difficult crags on Skye or the Grampians in Scotland.

Their peculiarity was their (one might say personal) attachment to Wales, and it was in Wales where ‘Tom’ met his untimely end in that  ‘death trap’, Twll Ddu, which they were climbing, not for the first time.  The other two continued their activitities until ‘Fred’, on a lonesome climb (a rare thing) slipped on the 1000ft face of Lliwedd above Llyn Llydaw, and was immediately killed.     ‘Frank’, the remaining member of the ill-fated trio, overburdened with grief, seemed to be tempting fate by climbing almost impossible rocks alone, and to the amazement of his friends came out of impossible positions unscathed, until at last, three years after ‘Fred’, the expected happened on the ‘Parson’s Nose’ on Snowden.     




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