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So stirs the mind
imagination’s call to hear
that e’en the wind
seems somehow with an awful fear
to shake his locks
of wizened, matted silver grey
within the stocks
and softly moan in sad dismay.
The rusty hasp
upon the lock-up’s rotting door
its worthy grasp
has loosed and safe will keep no more
the drunken louts
whilst waiting for the magistrate,
than will the clouts
within the door shine bright again.
The village green
is rough, uncut, in sad decay;
the cricket screen
is warping slowly with dismay
that ne’er a match
will here be played in future years
nor will a catch
be dropped again to vocal jeers.
The old Bull’s Head
has now become the Rose and Crown
and nought is said
of how the blacksmith oft’ did drown
his bitter tears
and mourned his wife in sad despair
for twenty years
and how he died without a care.
But even now
imagination’s hope is dead
no mater how
I listen with a side-cocked head;
for motorcars
and busy crowded urban streets
the heavens’ stars
have blotted out with smoky sheets.