The Ruin

The Ruin – copied from ‘Roman Sites in Yorkshire’ by Tom Garlick, a Dalesman publication

There were giants once. This was the wonder
They fashioned out of stone. Now it has fallen
To rack and ruin. Fate rode over it.
Its towers are tumbled, and its roofs torn down,
And there are holes where gates stood, frost
Has crept between the bricks, the wind and rain
Have rent the shelter open. Time
Burrows like a mole. Where are the builders now?
Gone, all gone, held in the clasp of earth
That clings fast to its own. These lichened walls
Have seen a hundred generations come and go;
These russet stones have seen great kingdoms rise
And fall again, while storms broke over them.
And now the soaring arch is reft in two.

(“The Ruin”, 8th century Anglo-Saxon poem inspired by the ruins of Roman buildings)