Charlotte Peters Rock

(20th century / England)

Caradoc of Tabley


Caradoc in his leaves looked down
And no-one saw Caradoc there
His tree - his eyrie in the air
Was gentle where he sat ‘to be'

"No more than one - and only me"
Caradoc thought - then hummed it through
No more in sadness -as his due
His thoughts set out his way

The dumb boy never to this day
Had uttered more than speechless sound
Yet still Caradoc - on this ground
His thoughts high in the air

Could see the water rain from where
A cloud - adrift in angry sky
Poured careless tears of joy
To keep him company

Now here below his home - his tree
By horse - on foot - there stood strange men
They spread - and they returned again
In wait for Cavaliers

Caradoc - high - with open ears
Stayed silent - deep within his tree
His Master's men who'd set him free
Were King's men - sought by these

Yet strange crop-headed men would seize
Such men his Master favoured well
They captured all and down they fell
Below his great enclosing tree

When Cromwell's men made fast the free
They built a fire to cook their food
They ate and drank and - not pursued
They camped around the ‘prisoner' tree

Caradoc watched them silently
He crept among the cavaliers
Releasing bonds from them - and fears
Of his -from men of war

They - silent in the dark before
The light awakened Cromwell's men
Slipped soft away - free men again
And puzzled roundheads woke

Caradoc's one successful joke
Went unremarked by Tabley men
Who'd set him free to live again
The strange dumb man who hid away

Now mark the tree - still here to day
Where once Caradoc freed the rope
That held king's men - who gave him hope
Caradoc - in his leaves - looks down.

16Apr2011 CPR

Submitted: Saturday, March 03, 2012

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