Blossom Rising

On the deaths of Major John Cairns Bartholomew, of Wadworthshire,

and a much loved Devizes tree…




Beneath a grey and monumental sky

In wild confetti clouds that dance in air

The blossom falls; all trees and men will die

However good, or beautiful, or rare

For years, beneath the branches of that tree

Have lovers kissed, have lonely mourners waited

All men and trees shall die; he, thee, and me

By that same force destroyed and yet created

The clattering of horses’ hooves, the sound

Of yeoman passing, ghosts that haunt the ears

All trees and men returneth to the ground

‘Till from the light new word of life appears

In red Victorian brick and petal glow

Are strength and beauty blended ‘fore our eyes

Good men and trees in season come and go

Such knowledge is the glory of the wise

Drink with your eyes each bright delight you see

And savour every moment of creation

For man will pass and wind will fell the tree

And wine will drop on coffins in libation

While blood still flows like sap, best drain your glass

Enjoy the fleeting sunbeam in your ale

For trees and men shall die; for all things pass

All moonlight fade and colours turn to pale

Let hops be gathered; make of sunshine, hay

Add rosebuds and ferment a heady brew

For trees and men shall certain pass away

As dark of midnight shadows summer’s blue

For soon enough last orders will be rung

Sad flags will flutter half way up the mast

Dark laments for men and trees be sung

And rest be found for dear old souls at last

Learn wisdom, child, from ale and wood and bone

Brew love in barrels down in cellars deep

And find it there when you return, alone

To watch the man in blossom rise from sleep


by Gail


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