I visited you in fading youth
Uncertain of what I would find:
Blissful bays of an emerald kind,
And auburn trees for a roof.
Around your park in after dark
Your city lights would shine;
Earthly mirrors of stars divine,
Ghosts of original sparks.
Learning your unlearnéd ways
In shady parts of town,
Events half unremembered frown
On the newborn days.
But let them go —
And like your river — flow
In the bookshop quiet hear
Whispering of souls,
Speaking through the vellum page,
echoing through holes
Gnawed by the book worms
Of centuries gone by,
Agents of a former day
Sent here to spy;
Carrying their thoughts with them,
(And their secrets too)
Watching as we walk on in,
Studying we two.
Can they read us as we them?
Do we love as they did then?
It is silent by the edge of this lake.
Unmoving, taciturn, cast in grey by funeral sky,
Overlooked by mountains, austere and high.
Vast and old, timeless perhaps,
Shifted by fire and underworld maps.
Towed to today by unshakeable fate
We stand as they stand, though shorter
In our years. But the same in type,
Hauled by heaven and Chance’s daughter
From the seas of liberty to the solid rock;
Robbed of decision, but burdened with sense,
Lead from our kingship, now in the flock.
But what matters this un-freeing?
If chance chose on our being?
James Inskter is a nineteen-year-old English student from the UK. He has been a voluntary journalist, maintained a literary blog, written poems for his college magazine, and has begun publishing his work online.