The morning wakes: the sun’s misty rays Touch the yonder crest Of Middleton Wold above the hazy vale T’wards the distant west. Snared by a gentle breeze, the gossamer filaments Of early morning mist, The wraiths of night, now quit the ling’ring shade, And chalky slopes gently kiss. Fleecy clouds, whose shadows pitch and toss Across the wave-like hills; Cruise the rolling seas of earthly life, ‘Till over the summit spill. Above the copse of beech where now I stand Red kites soar and glide. A timeless scene: so humble, so small I feel; Such rural vistas wide! Wither now, with passing years I wonder - Vistas wider still? I pause and breathe the air so clean and fresh, And hear a woodpecker drill. Are transient shadows that briefly cross the hills, And birds that soar on high But elusive fleeting moments in the passage of time? - no more than a passing sigh? Are we but tiny specks in time and space? Within an ageless infinity? What other worlds await the other side? In sublime and blessed serenity? The sun is high: I’ve far to go, my journey’s long, Across the distant hills Of Middleton Wold, above the hazy vale, Which Heaven’s rich suffusion fills. The Yorkshire Wolds are a part of the Chalk downlands that stretch from Bridlington in East Yorkshire all the way south to the North and South Downs in the Southeast of England. They present wide open vistas of rolling arable land with the occasional copse of woods here and there. This poem was written following a pensive walk from Etton to Middleton in which the movement of the fleecy clouds, the poet's journey to the crest of the chalk represent life and the passage to whatever the hereafter might entail.
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