Sunday, 30 December 2012

Rosebury Topping

Rosebury Topping

Not among smoke of busy, crowded town,
Where manufactures for the world are made,
And man’s best nature seems all trodden down,
To suit the vile necessities of trade,
Has my life’s Spring been past: but I have learnt 5
To gaze upon each mountain, brook, and plain,
With poet’s rapture; and my soul would fain
Attempt a task for which it long has burnt
With the unquenchêd fire of holy zeal,—
To chaunt the beauties of my native vale, 10
Preserve each legend, and record each tale,
That aged grey-beards, e’en from sire to son,
Have told, of love despised, or battle won,
And add my mite unto the public weal.

George Markham Tweddell
Stokesley G. T. [Tweddell’s Yorkshire Miscellany, p. 212, October 1845. The poem
appears again in Tractates No. 7 as Cleveland Sonnet No. I, and also
published in J.Horsfall Turner’s 1890 Yorkshire Genealogist, Volume
II, p. 13]

A second poem on Rosebury Topping -

Rosebury Topping.

Who has not heard of famous Rosebury?—
The favourite hill of ev’ry Cleveland bard,
Standing as sentinel the vale to guard,—
A thing of strength and beauty. May it be
Unto our children’s children dear as now 5
It is to us. Sacred it was, I ween,
To the Brigantes, whose war-pits are seen
As yet we climb the mountain: on whose brow
Bold warriors watched, prepar’d to meet the foe,—
Proud of their woad-stains, and rude weapons they 10
Were so well skill’d to use. When will the day
Dawn on us when mankind need only know
The arts of peace?—for men will some day see
That love, not hate, alone can yield felicity.
I’ve sat on Rosebury with many a bard 15
Whose heart-strings, once so musical, are mute
On earth for ever: we full well did suit
Each other, in congenial regard
For the loved landscape here unfurl’d to view.
Yonder towers Gisbro’s fine old ruin’d arch 20
Memento of the past—our onward march
Mark’d by yon blast-furnaces: churches not a few,
Towns, farmsteads, rivers, fields of every hue—
As grass, and corn, and fallow—and o’er all
The watchet ocean; prospects that ne’er pall 25
Upon one’s tastes: the picture’s ever new.
We may roam far and wide before we see
A finer sight than here from Rosebury.

The grand historic Cheviots meet the eye
At times from here. You ocean with its ships 30
Laden with commerce, till the welkin dips
Into the main: Tees, too, whose steamers ply,
Despite of wind or tide, both too and fro,
In quick succession; whilst close at our feet
The wildflowers bloom, where fields and woodlands meet 35
The wide-spread moors, now with their golden glow
Of whins in Flower, anon in purple clad
Of ling which bloom’d there long ere the Britons trod
Where now we find their urns beneath the sod,
With charcoal from the wood with which they had 40
So long since been cremated. To us here
The Bygone and the Present both are near.

George Markham Tweddell

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