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The Old Fleece

ISSUE:  Winter 1952


I know an inn where wood-smoke curls
From an old wide hearth,
Where the fire gleams in candlesticks
On the chimney-garth.

I know oak shelves where pewter plates
Stand in grave steel row,
Grey ghosts of harvest suppers
Unremembered now.

I know four oak beams thick as men,
With flagged floor beneath,
A high settle where the sword lay
Waiting in its sheath.

I know by the splintered sunlight
The burning brown of the woodwork
And the pewter’s stare,
That the room has a secret hidden—
Plain from flagged floor to rafters,
Yet locked in its air.


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