NEW FOREST EXODUS

Posted by Admin on Sunday, 1st February 2009, 00:00

Picturesque? But would artistic
taste have countenanced the squalor –
let us live among, accept those
alien folk to gain the knowledge
of their secret skills?
Woodcraft to detect a hidden
rabbit, hypnotise a hare, or
track through brake and bog the
palmate antlered deer –
herbal lore with potency to
cure the ailing, pep up horses,
or, with malice, poison pigs: for
make no error, outcasts boasting
royal blood and roots in India’s
past would brook no insult unavenged.

Should we now bewail their passing?
Parasites who yet withal were hunger’s
victims – lawless, but obeying
Gipsy law.

Tinkers, totters, clothes-peg makers –
all have gone, and cottagers at
Copythorne lock against the
fox alone their poultry pens; while
forest depths, inviolate, their
own dark mysteries hide.

T. C. Hudson.

© T. C. Hudson.

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