Saturday, 30 April 2011

The temple in the woods

It stands there. A temple to nameless - or merely just forgotten - spirits of the country. A cage of pillars at the end of an avenue of flowers. As you approach your stride falters a little - not for any conscious reason but perhaps a hesitancy born from those faintly remembered godlets. This is England after all, a land where those spirits of tree, of water, of wind and flower are but a faint echo. A country where the magic of place is almost crushed by the sound and fury of modern life, a land of contradiction in which millions turn their backs on the magic of wood and field.

But we have that magic still - it is recorded by the poets:

Youth of delight, come hither,
And see the opening morn,
Image of truth new born.
Doubt is fled, & clouds of reason,
Dark disputes & artful teazing.
Folly is an endless maze,
Tangled roots perplex her ways.
How many have fallen there!
They stumble all night over bones of the dead,
And feel they know not what but care,
And wish to lead others, when they should be led. 

And at the head of the avenue there is a temple in the woods.


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