This is one of a series of poems, written by my Grandmother, that represent a portrait of her childhood in Thomas Hardy’s Wessex, places and people she loved who are, for the most part, no longer with us.
She dedicates each and every poem to her daughters, and has kindly given me permission to share them with you all, enjoy…
Once Upon A Time
Once there were fields, where now the houses stand,
Stretching for endless miles across the land,
Spring-dressed with daisies. Slowly moving herds
Chewed ceaselessly, whilst like a shining lake
The bluebells swayed b’neath trees whose leaves would make
A curtain for the newly-nesting birds.
In dried-out ditches, halfway up the slope,
Purple and white, violets spread a cope
Fit for a king, or God. Their gentle heads
Demurely bowed, as if in constant prayer.
From the wire fence, the birds would glean the hair
Left by the horse, to line their infants’ beds.
Where are you now, resourceful little birds?
And where the horse, and silky Jersey herds?
Bulldozers tore the Royal violet cloak
To shreds. Only the daisy, desolate,
Refuses to accept the common fate
Of nature’s beauty, faced with modern folk.
© Dorothy Davis-Sellick 1998 onwards