I stand at evening and look upon the Manor House
with only ghosts for company
Who flit about the ruined walls
Like the shadows of the trees
The remains of once proud orchards
Where silently once more
Fruit gatherers fill their baskets
For their lords` and ladies` tables
Now derelict, unkempt and desolate
The site retains a magic,
An atmosphere both eerie and majestic
Redolent of ancient days of ceremony
When common people knew their place
And law was given from a master`s voice.
Now by moonlight casting broken shadows
Across the stagnant moat
Unnaturally I see more clearly
The life of long ago.
The tower once more reaches skywards
The floors now mystically restored
Again hold people splendidly robed
Who ruled the land and gave commands.
The maids and servants mere minions
Of their lord, hastening to do his bidding
Scurry to the stables or the kennels
Through portals restored to ancient glory.
The House envisioned, as it was,
Impresses itself upon the landscape.
A backcloth of extensive fields and trees
Surrounded by the moat, a great black snake
That winds itself about the House.
A dark cloud passes and illumination gone ,
Imagination withers with the hidden moon;
The splendour of the site all gone:
The gardens and the fountains,
The bridges and the boats
Now overgrown, neglected
Down the years, unloved
Through many generations
But brought to life
Through eyes that see the past.

© A.B. Finlay Ph.D