Ivor Gurney

Up There

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On Cotswold edge there is a field and that
Grows thick with corn and speedwell and the mat
Of thistles, of the tall kind; Rome lived there,
Some hurt centurion got his grant or tenure,
Built farm with fowls and pigsties and wood-piles,
Waited for service custom between whiles.
The farmer ploughs up coins in the wet-earth time,
He sees them on the topple of crests gleam,
Or run down furrow; and halts and does let them lie
Like a small black island in brown immensity,
Till his wonder is ceased,
and his great hand picks up the penny.
Red pottery easy discovered, no searching needed…
One wonders what farms were like,
no searching needed,
As now the single kite hovering still
By the coppice there, level with the flat of the hill.

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Ivor Gurney