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Monday, 6 November 2017

John Kenyon, Dorchester Amphitheatre, 1836; with Maiden Castle Section


Poem by John Kenyon (from Poems for the Most Part Occasional, 1838, page 168-185)





Maiden Castle Extract: 

"Along thy sides they stretch, ring above ring,
Marking thee from afar; then vanish round
Like the broad shingly banks, which ocean heaves
In noble curves along his winding shore.
The passing wayfarer with wonder views
E'en at imperfect distance, their bold lines,
And asks the Who? the Wherefore? and the When?
Wafting his spirit back into far times,
And dreaming as he goes. But whoso stays,
And climbs the turf-way to thy tabled top,
Shall reap a fuller wonder; shall behold
Thy girdled area, of itself a plain,
Where widely feeds the scattered flock; shall mark
Thy trenches, complicate' with warlike art,
And deep almost as natural ravine
Cut in the mountain; or some startling rent
In the blue-gleaming glacier; or as clefts,
Severing the black and jagged lava-walls,
Which old Vesuvius round his crater flings,
Outworks, to guard the mysteries within.
But these are smooth and verdant. Tamed long since,
Breastwork abrupt and pallisaded mound
Are, now, but sloping greensward; as if Nature,
Who vainly her mild moral reads to man,
Still strove to realize the blessed days,
By seers avouched, by statesmen turned to dreams,
When war shall be no more.
So mused I there!"


All eighteen pages:



















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