Ancram Writing

Graveyard

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A graveyard on a Border hill
Above a bustling town,
A field of peace, of rest, of still,
Long-shadowed stones and wisps of chill
As autumn’s sun dies down.

Somewhere amidst the greying stones
A tablet round and white
Contrasting starkly with the tones
Of celtic cross and sculpted bones
Which haunt the Border night.

Memorial to a tiny girl
Whose human time was short,
With hair as pitch as any merle
And lustrous eyes as pure as pearl
That ever an oyster wrought.

In memory of a transient soul
Whose sojourn here was brief.
A child baptised whom heaven stole
Yet left the power to console
And drive away the grief.

‘More lasting joy from your short life
Than if you’d lived your span’.
Spared the suffering of the knife
Bypassed the weeping and the strife
Which marks the path of Man.

I long to rest upon that brae
Beside that whitened stone,
To know – at least to hope and pray –
That when we rise on Judgement Day
I will not rise alone,

That I who wept when she was born
And stood and watched her die,
Will stand with her before that Dawn
And hand in hand confront that morn
To meet the eagle’s cry.

August 2002

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