Friday 11 November 2022

Wroth Silver 2022: The End of an Era


The End of An Era

Was that the last swallow of summer?
First frost on the car this morning?
Crisp peppery leaves line the track to the wood,
The robin wakes up to song again,
Young starlings gather & chatter,
The nights draw in.

The year is like a wave
That builds & crests & breaks & falls;
We all feel it & this is history
Her story, our story, the end of an era:
The Elizabethan Age
Of never having had it so good.

You don’t need me to tell you
That the white heat of the sonic boom
Of modernism
Will always come up against this:
Time versus the timelessness of the cycle,
Whilst the words we use each day
Would baffle a person from the fifties.

Even more so the people of the land
In whose footsteps we walked today;
Who saw war, famine & disease
Come & go, just as we have. & here we are
Stood around our stone before dawn
Where, year on year
The wave of history itself breaks for us.

So we, whatever the world may say or do,
Whatever change may come
Are gathered in our meeting place once again:
To pay the Duke his due
& toast the Monarch’s health
Year upon year, age upon age.

The land bears witness to their & our travails
For Sovereignty will always take on form.
Mother, father, son & heir:
May he & all his people
Be blessed, protected & guided by the ancestral wisdom
Which draws us back to Knightlow.
God save the King!

This was my ninth year as the poet laureate of Wroth Silver with the performance of my work at the Wroth Silver Breakfast, held for some years now at the Queen's Head in Bretford. My thanks & respect, as ever go to the guardians of this ancient local tradition, William Waddilove & David Eadon; the latter having attended the ceremony for the 85th time this year.

The title of my poem, The End of an Era, is now doubly poignant as since we saw him last week, David Eadon who has organised things since the 1960s has announced that he will no longer be attending for  health reasons. Thank you David, for all your years of dedication!

When I  refer to sovereignty I mean that which is most noble & most able to serve within us all, not merely a state of aristocratic privilege.

To read my previous Wroth Silver poems & find out more about this unique & ancient event follow these links:
2014: Martinmas
2015: The Road of Time
2016: Wheel of the Year, Wheel of the Land
2017: Eight Decades
2018: Ghosts
Throw a Penny in the Hollow of the Stone 
2020-21 Dear Ancestors

The Wroth Silver Breakfast in the 1920s
The Wroth Silver Breakfast in the 1920s


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