By Mary Webb

On burning ploughlands, faintly blue with wheat,
A three-horse roller toils, the wandering dust
A nimbus round it. Shadow-coloured hills
Huddle beyond–hump-shouldered, kingly-headed
Or eel-shaped; sinister, tortured–waiting still,
Beneath the purposeful, secretive sky,
The multitudinous years
That soon or late will melt them.
So I have felt them
In all their static beauty only fit for tears,
Like those that toil along the blood-red weald
With their own death-dust round them for sole glory
Under the falcon wings
Of dawn, the red night’s carrion-swoop,
The intolerable emptiness of air.

Long, long ago I thought on all these things:
Long, long ago I loved them.

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