Back To The Land

A poem by Violet Jacob

Out in the upland places,
I see both dale and down,
And the ploughed earth with open scores
Turning the green to brown.

The bare bones of the country
Lie gaunt in winter days,
Grim fastnesses of rock and scaur,
Sure, while the year decays.

And, as the autumn withers,
And the winds strip the tree,
The companies of buried folk
Rise up and speak with me; -

From homesteads long forgotten,
From graves by church and yew,
They come to walk with noiseless tread
Upon the land they knew; -

Men who have tilled the pasture
The writhen thorn beside,
Women within grey vanished walls
Who bore and loved and died.

And when the great town closes
Upon me like a sea,
Daylong, above its weary din,
I hear them call to me.

Dead folk, the roofs are round me,
To bar out field and hill,
And yet I hear you on the wind
Calling and calling still;

And while, by street and pavement,
The day runs slowly through,
My soul, across these haunted downs,
Goes forth and walks with you.

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