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The Western Towers
Gone to Earth
The Roman Well
At Ravenscar
After Sunset
An Altar at Cilurnum
A Chorister
The Great East Window
The Hunters of Banna
The Legion goes North
Lines in October
The Maiden Way
A Song of Forgetting
St Cuthbert's Quest
St Cuthbert's Windows
The Ringers
The Snail
The Street
Traveller's Joy
Wind at Night








With what bird’s spirit, or wind’s

Across what seas, what incommunicable spaces,

Lonely as thought have I come

To the unverifiable land?


It is clear as a star

In the green gulfs of twilight,

Standing still (as stars do

When they beacon your faith, your love).

It is there yet in the mountains

My valley, my beautiful valley.


It has no name now, or hardly a name.

But the name it was called then sang

Like a carillon, a Greek name

With the ring of waves in it, and the clarity

of the island light. It is strange

I should know of it and none other.


The white road climbs—little road

Dusky with oleanders and dim yews

In a world that is vacant almost till you come

To the village houses up hill, five or ten,

Square all way and low with cypress

Streaking white walls.

And mountains are all round save

Where the sea line splits the sky.

Always the dream is thus, and always

It is late evening and a boy sings

To another’s flute. Myntas,

0, who is Myntas?

Sings till the sudden darkness

Smooths out all except

The mountains. 0, I see them

Like broken swords lying along the world,

Edge up as if to fence

Our valley and the great stars watching.


All at once

There is confusion and red fire

And shoutings of terror in the dark,

And a child cries out for me;

I can feel the pull of it now. I must have loved him

But I am helpless.

I have died.


And who are these

That look through my dream with dark eyes,

young faces, fair unforgettable faces

With hair drawn back by wooing fingers

Of mountain winds from neck and olive shoulders?

 “Myntas.” 0, who is Myntas?


It comes to me now,

Like music upon an intervening wind,

Across how wide a water!

That world, a dreaming within a dream,

And yet so real it pulls

In a chance moment all the still bells

The mind has in its belfries

For some strange office of remembering

Whereunto I have come, and not unwilling,

So many wondering times.



Copyright © 2008 [Fen Tyler]