Despite my complaining about the light for photography on Midsummer’s Day, we got off lightly compared to the bedraggled pigeon I took today sitting on our clothes line – and the Photoshopped a little.
Anyway, to cheer things up I thought I’d publish another of our friend Lesley’s solstice offerings in rhyme. I should explain that the title of this post, which also appears in the poem, is inscribed on the tower at Hartshead Pike.
The Curse of the Dry Stone Wallers
(with apologies to all green-eyed yellow idols listening)
There’s a green and misty hilltop to the north of Ashton Lyne
There’s a monument of stone above the town.
And a broken hearted woman tends the countryside around
While the tower of stone forever gazes down.
It is known as Hartshead Pike, by local people and the like
It is said to be a meeting place of old.
But as the monument was laid, the Dry Stone Wallers were never paid
And now its stones are cursed or so I’m told.
Now a Ranger, quite well known, by his colleagues and at home
and who was better than they felt inclined to tell
Got up to many foolish pranks, yet he was worshiped in the ranks.
And his boss’s daughter smiled on him as well!
He had loved her all along with a passion of the strong
And that she returned his love was plain to all.
She was nearly twenty one and arrangements had begun
To celebrate her birthday with a ball.
Next day the Ranger wrote his beloved a little note
To ask what sort of present she would like
And jestingly she made pretense that nothing would compare
To a stone from off the tower at Hartshead Pike.
On the night before the dance the Ranger seemed as in a trance
And they teased him as they puffed on their cigars.
But for once he failed to smile and he sat alone awhile
Then he went into the night beneath the stars.
He returned before the dawn with his shirt and fleece all torn
And a gash across his temple dripping red.
He rested through the night and then at morning light
He bade his sweetheart stand beside his bed
“Your present’s here my lover”…he patted a mound beneath the cover
She pulled back all the sheets and gave a moan.
Then she stared in disbelief , at what was underneath,
From off the pike – a huge carved piece of stone.
Well, her face dropped to the floor and she hurried out the door
“You’re a fool” she cried .. I wish we’d never met
There’s a curse upon that stone..” and left the Ranger all alone
With the object that he’d chanced his life to get.
When the ball was at its height, on that still and tropic night
She thought of him and hastened to his room.
As she crossed the quiet square she could hear the dreamy air
Of a waltz tune softly stealing through the gloom.
His door was open wide and so she quickly stepped inside.
She saw his body limp upon the bed
T’was the Wallers that had cursed him! and as she tried in vain to nurse him
It soon became apparent he was dead
On his once toned, manly chest, the lump of stone now cruelly pressed.
Upon the stone a message chiselled clear.
“Look well at me before you go, and see you nothing at me throw”
The wallers curse is something we should fear.
So when it comes to satisfying women’s needs, and present buying
There’s a lesson to be learnt from this sad rhyme.
Whatever we request, men , think about your chest…
Play it safe and go for chocolates every time!