Juvenilia: Sonnet to the Ancient Town

Song to the Fading Town illustration
Oh ancient town bestride the restless shore,
Old shadows lingered lastest at thy gates;
Thou hads’t withdrawn unto a darkened veil
And deep in briar thy pleasance lay abate.
Thy tower t’was a sentinel forlorn,
Thy walls did but enshadow former might –
The fleeting breath of Nodens’ silent horn
Had been thy lone companion in the night.
I’d watch thou vanish on the early morn,
And by the brillig, thou’d departed late
And left of thou t’was but a ruin, shorn
Of all its shadows and thy sleeping gate.
And when unto thy ruined port I gaze
I see thy walls confound the evening haze.


Pleasance – Medieval pleasure garden.
Nodens – An ancient Celtic god often associated with nature.
Brillig – From Lewis Carol’s Jaberwocky – nonsense word for evening.