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This poem is taken from Poetry Nation 2 Number 2, 1974.

From 'The Shires' Donald Davie


Cheshire

A lift to the spirit, when everything fell into place!
So that was what those ruined towers remained from:
Engine-houses, mills. Our Pennine crests
Had not been always mere unfettered space.

Not quite the crests, just under them. The high
Cloughs, I learned in the history-lesson, had
Belted the earliest mills, they had connived
With history then, then history passed them by.

His savage brunt and impetus, one survives it?
Finding it all unchanged and the windowless mill
Between Wincle and Congleton silent and staring, I found
The widow's weeds restorative, and fit.

And Mr. Auden, whom I never knew,
Is dead in Vienna. A post-industrial landscape
He celebrated often, and expounded
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