Sea-hung cages of singing, hymn-bams In villages of lace and brass and limewash Look over the grey water. Held In the lapse of a landscape's liquid outline The islands float in air. In the steep hayfields, in the deep lanes Where the primroses live till autumn And the white trefoils star the hedgerow grass Where all the flowers bloom at once and for ever You are near, but may not cross, the frontier of time. Sweet heifers graze the saltings The tide laps at the roots of elder and thorn But the ferryman does not come to the ruined bell-house; You must stay Or wander back to the parked car In the lane that leads nowhere, Gather the heavy blackberries That only grow by this sea In the queer light that only shines in this sky. This is the edge of the world Where you must mourn For all you cannot escape from For all you have brought with you For Gwendraeth guilty with Gwenllian's blood For the silent sleepers under the green earth Waiting, and waiting in vain, For the named and the nameless For the smooth-tongued traitors and the dumb heroes For the white-robed riders by night And the hands raised to curse at noon, For all the starving ghosts and dead gods. Fowls roost in the chancel, nettles grow on the altar Where the saints fasted and the pilgrims prayed. This sea will not cleanse you, and there is no forgiveness In all the empty sky. You have brought no prayers, no tears. You must return To the towns without laughter and the valleys without pride. Harri Webb Published by the Proprietors, THE TUDOR PRESS LTD, Tudor House, Carter Lane, London, E.C.4, England Printed by Geo. Gibbons Ltd., Aylestone Road, Leicester