The City

Englynion-style Poems

Englynion (plural of Englyn) are an ancient Welsh verse-form, they are typically composed of any number of short three-line stanzas

The City

Yesterday I went to the City,
Just over the border –
My mind filled with errands.

I passed by indifferent –
Trod the streets lined with commerce,
The Roman facade hardly noticed.

But the signs were still present,
The old Walls stretched proudly –
Forlorn stood the tower of Charles.

Amongst masonry ancient
Lay a still silence –
Past lives soaked in the ruins.

Beneath the facade of the street
Lay old cellars and crypts,
Echoing ages long vanished.

My mind also recalled
Tales out of sync with the fashions –
Of betrayal, strife and conquest.

Came the Legions to fortify Deva,
Built bridges and colonnades noble –
A brief age of concord and learning.

Saxons the next tenants came,
To the dismay of the Welsh (latter Britons),
Driven over the hills into Cambria.

Wars, pestilence, strife soon to follow,
Civil War least among them
Decided the Parliament’s triumph.

Errands complete I head home,
Like the Britons before me –
Past glories and discord mere fragments.


The Welsh name for the city of Chester is ‘Caer’ which simply means ‘City’.
During the English Civil War (1642-1646) Charles I is said to have watched the crucial defeat of his forces against the Parliamentary army from a tower which still stands on the City Walls.
Deva – The Roman settlement and fort at Chester.