The walls of stone with mortared vein,

Bastions of a bygone age;

Such builders we’ll n’er see again.


Who tore the rock from quarry face,

Swathed in sweat and dust;

For each edifice in its chosen place.


Gone are they but stones still stand,

Staid reminders to the eye;

Land embossed by the mason’s hand.


Follies shaped or defensive screen,

Within hollow or upon the hill;

Where habitats of wealth have been.


Gaze now at the corner’s corbelled bow,

Within the towering ramparts high;

From shade and shadow cast below.


Each sculpted stone a dream encased,

Of the Lord and labourer lowly;

From the task that they embraced.


Wonderment before one looks away,

To grapple time as it unfolds;

Long past the toils of distant day.


In the lasting language of the stone,

Read of those all gone before;

As nests speak of the weavers flown.


Monty Alexander 17.8.03




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