Poems 12

              Walter – A True Story

We rode thoughout the night

          From eve till morn’s grey light

And all the while a tempest howled before us

          But we never gave an inch

          Not from our journey flinch

And we never felt the weariness come o’er us.


All through that long long night

Just tucked in behind the fight,

Was a youth whose Christian name is known as Walter

          Tenaciously he clung

          And to our back wheels hung

And ne’er an inch all night did Walter falter.


          We tried to shake him off

          But Walter was too tough

And from his self-appointed place he would not budge

          When the going got too hard

          And we thought he’d walk a yard

He’d get off too and just behind us trudge.


But when later in the day

The wind behind us lay

Walter got in front and disappeared

          And blinding all the while

          He gained mile after mile

And not until at supper re-appeared.


So we thought we would celebrate

In honour of our mate

And make to him a decent presentation

          So we said a little speech

          (Though we kept him out of reach)

Whilst we placed him on an hero’s elevation.


With a medal on his breast

And a proudly swelling chest

We took his photo, mounted on his bike,

          With the trophy in his hand

          The effect was simply grand

For a right good champion’s posture he did strike.


So at some future date

When his year’s are getting late

And his feet too weak to try and push a pedal

          He will tell his son’s the story

          Of how he gained such glory

And framed upon the wall will be his medal.

Whitsun 1926



The Call

 A great red sun is setting

          Across the azure sea;

A wealth of shade and colour

Into the western lea:

A voice calls o’er the waters

          Bidding me to free

My soul from work-day fetters

          To sail the restless sea.


 The road winds o’er the mountains

          Across the peaceful plains;

It strides across the moorlands

          Before it’s goal attains:

I hear the road a-calling –

          I see those leafy lanes

I cannot help but answer

          Ere the long day wanes.


A silver thread is winding,

          Through deeply hidden dales

I see the sparkling waters

          A coursing down the vales;

The music of the dancing flood –

          A song that never fails

To draw me to the riverside –

          To hear the river’s tales.


Across the open moorland

          (Yon ridge that cleaves the sky)

The whispering breeze is calling –

          I hear the moor fowl cry:

That bed of moss and heather,

          Where content I may lie

Besides the rippling moorland burn

          That dances lightly by.


Beyond yon tree-clad valley

          The towering mountains rise;

A tumbled, mighty, rocky mass

          Uprearing to the skies:

Amongst those peaks is freedom

          Away from man’s device

About those crags and precipice

          I’ll find a paradise.


The sun is over the forest,

          A scene of sylvan peace

It forms a leafy pattern

          A-slanting through the trees

The shady roof waves gently

          Stirred by the summer breeze

‘Tis there I’d love to wander

          Wherever I may please.


The restless sea is breaking

          In wavelets o’er the shore

The Southern breeze is calling

          Across the lonely moor

The shady, coloured woodlands

          The river’s gentle roar

But most of all I hear the road –

          The ever open door.                             1922


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