Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, DREAM - COTSWOLD, by WILFRED ROWLAND CHILDE



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DREAM - COTSWOLD, by            
First Line: Thy little dreaming towns life passes by
Last Line: Where the trees have emerald leaves and the streets are gold.
Subject(s): Cotswold Hills, England; Oxford University; Towns


I.

THY little dreaming towns life passes by,
They fade and waste, I know, regretfully,
Their chief inhabiter antiquity.

Their wealth is gone, their folk's best part is dead,
They mourn alone nor can be comforted,
Silence and sleepy days weigh down each head.

Yet, O thou dear blue region of high air,
I look upon thy towns without despair,
For in my dreams thou still art royally fair.

II.

O magic and serenely set, in dreams
I hear loud music from thy secret streams,
Each little city on Cotswold sings and gleams.

Now Ciceter lifts up her fair crowned face,
Now is she robed in honour and clad with grace.
Wide cloaks of scarlet blow about the place:

Dear queen of Cotswold and the upland earth,
She is returned once more to riches and mirth,
She is returned once more to the pride of her birth.

Now Campden wakes, and laughter fills her ways,
And Northleach is a queen of arising days,
And Burford blows, a blossom of ancient praise.

Now laughs the windy place on the high wold,
And Stow is magic as she was of old,
And Stow is filled with merchants clad in gold.

March Moreton and Hill Bourton now put on
Lost garments of the glory that is gone,
And Water Bourton takes a happier throne.

III.

Yea, yea, the little grey towns are glad again,
They have put aside the memories of their pain,
They assume the sceptres and begin to reign.

The pasturing hills and hill-sides beautiful
Grow fat once more, and seem to be made full
Of shepherds and bleating flocks and bales of wool.

The flowery vales are filled with shepherd-throngs,
The greens of remotest villages glad with songs,
And all that to felicity belongs.

The inns are happy and the long roads gay,
The great clouds march upon their towering way,
Blue Cotswold is one hill of holiday.

The dream is strong: soon will I breast the hill,
Pluck violets and the waving daffodil,
With petals of primroses my fingers fill;

And visit each by turn the laughing towns --
Ah no, the light grows dim, the vision drowns;
Not mine to see them robed and wearing crowns.

IV.

Ah no, the light grows dim -- the far blues fade,
The great hills melt into a moving shade,
Down in their ancient sleep the towns are laid.

So when I see thee next and walk thy streets,
Tasting the pleasure of thy silent sweets,
Plucking the dim blooms of thy hid retreats,

I shall not, as the dream was showing thee,
Behold thy towns in their felicity:
Nay, in their aged slumber will they be.

V.

Only in dreams to those that seek, appears
Dream-Cotswold, loosed from the devouring years,
Appareled finely, having forgotten tears.

In dreams strange music is the robe of her,
The towns are stronger, greater and lovelier,
Earth is no vestment for their roads to wear:

Moreton, Bourton and Stow, March, Water and Wold,
Where none grow weary at all and none grow old,
Where the trees have emerald leaves and the streets are gold.





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