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Arachne. No. 2

Spring in Roxburgh

page 14

Spring in Roxburgh

This grey and legendary tableland
Throngs with stone sagas like a sculptor's yard:
Heraldic figures; anvils in a forge;
Old gods and gargoyles, altars and cromlechs stand
Keeping majestic, melancholy guard
Above the graven grandeur of the gorge.

In the antlered valley, every orchard bough
Is trimmed with blossom like suspended snow.
Before rich earth and pruning hook and plough
Minted their gold, men hunted for it here
At fever heat. I see them with their gear,
Uncouth battalions, crumpled hat on head,
And swag worn crosswise like a bandolier;
And think of all, by ridge and river-bed,
Who died in the Great Blizzard long ago.