A Syrian Retreat
Visualise, dear folks at home,
A ridge or saddle, mount or dome.
A prominence of some extent
fashioned like a monstrous tent.
A steeply-sided spur of stone,
Unshakeable as England's throne,
Sparsely studded over all
With cedars scarcely ten feet tall.
And in between, in rough array,
(Toned to a dull and dirty grey)
A myriad rocks, an opaque veil
Of flints and stones and slabs and shale,
And massive boulders, some upthrust,
Like icebergs, from the earth's scant crust.
Nine-tenths beneath, one-tenth above
Immovable to thrust or shove.
So conjure up this pleasant scene
Where oft your loving son has been,
And having been has dug some holes.
Ye shades of beavers and of moles!
- Lin Rowell, A Troop, 27 Bty
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