And what if my descendants lose the flower
Through natural declension of the soul...?
- WB Yeats, Meditations in Time of Civil War, IV
What might you have foreseen? The way that rain
teemed all autumn on the ragged elm
so fields were flooded and the river rose
on your precious acre of stony ground?
How water crept round the ancient tower,
and swept old trees in the eyes of the bridge,
immersed the road, welled up the winding stair
so that each intake of breath was a magnet
for a river in spate and the torrent flowing in
the chamber window met waters flowing out?
That table of trestles and board where you wrote,
a fire of turf in the open grey hearth:
And now whatever flourish and decline
These stones remain their monument and mine.