TO SIWARD’S CROSS
Old cross, how many summers bright have flown
Since first was here up-reared thy sacred form;
How many winters hast thou stood alone,
And braved the storm.
Of those who shaped and fashioned thee with care,
From the rough block that midst the heather lay,
The memory, like smoke upon the air,
Has passed away.
At morn, when gladdened by the sun’s bright ray,
The lark poured forth her mountain melody,
Oft has the abbot, passing on his way,
Gazed upon thee.
When dusky night’s advance made daylight flee,
Or gathering mists the beaten track would hide,
The lonely traveller, beholding thee,
Has found a guide.
Long in the desert may’st thou stand, old cross,
And towards thee ne’er be stretched an unkind hand;
But with thy coat of lichen grey and moss,
Long may’st thou stand!
from The Ancient Stone Crosses of Dartmoor and its Borderland by William Crossing (1902)
Photos © Angela Williams 2012