Barefoot penitent to the whispered shrine,
The crumbling reliquary
Of long-passed sisters-of-the-cure,
I climb the Gallows Hill.
Birds swim in trembling air;
Spiders swing from branch to branch
On filaments of mist
And the forest is full of music.
Shivering at the luminous edge
Of day, a blackbird makes
His lime-green song
From a filigree of leaves.
Warbler and nightingale
With falling golden thrill,
And swaggering serenade
Hold the woodland stage,
With melodies of pearl.
Beyond the firth, full
Of the sound of rising winds
The hills sleep like seals;
An empty farm-house, roof caved in,
Stands at the edge of the wood,
Marks the primrose road,
Pillowed with softest moss,
Which leads me to the hidden place.
Fern and bracken line secret paths
And forest ways;
They bow, make reverence,
Brush my skirts with fronded hands,
Call me Queen and Majesty,
Then turn away, smile secretly.
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