Thursday, September 18, 2008

"Leap from the crags, brave boy"

The Dhoon

Leap from the crags, brave boy
The musing hills have kept thee long
But they have made thee strong
And fed thee with the fullness of their joy
And given direction that thou might'st return
To me who yearn
At foot of this great steep
Leap! Leap!
So the stream leapt
Into his mother's arms
Who wept
A space

Then calmed her sweet alarms
And smiled to see him as he slept
Wrapt in that dear embrace
And with the brooding of her tepid breast
Cherished his mountain chillness
O, then what a rest!
O, everywhere what stillness.

That was the Victorian Manx poet T.E. Brown writing about one of the Isle of Man's most secluded but spectacular National Glens, the Dhoon.

I'm afraid that I can't be bothered to get the formatting right - I could be here all night, fiddling with it - so apologies to dear old TE, for whom 'A garden is a lovesome thing, god wot!'

The photograph above shows me sitting 'midst the bluebells in Dhoon Glen and was taken in the spring of 2000 by the late Roly Drower, musician, poet and political activist, with whom I was in a relationship at the time.

I was recently contemplating changing that photograph as the 'official' picture on my home page - since it's nearly ten years out of date now - and felt rather sad, remembering the happy circumstances in which it was taken and knowing I couldn't hang on to it forever.

The TE Brown poem seemed startling apposite when I came across it on the Dhoon Glen site, which is why I've reproduced it here, unashamedly corny though it is: 'Leap from the crags, brave boy/The musing hills have kept thee long ... //O, then what a rest!/O, everywhere what stillness.'


Bo said...

I'll be thinking of you this week as you start at Warwick.
I'm fine - just moving, and irregular internet access.

Jane Holland said...

Ditto, for you at Cambridge. Don't know what's up with me at the moment; my mind keeps turning to darker things. Shattered after a too eventful year, probably. Or perhaps it's just one of those natural troughs, necessary for "refilling the bucket" as my old Latin teacher at school used to put it. Not quite ready for tenebrae yet, never fear. Even though it may look it at times.