The Breath Of God Poem by Alec de Candole

The Breath Of God

The breath of God, a wind from heaven's throne,
Like friendship's sweetness, and like pain's sharp strength,
Outstretching mightily to memory's length —
The free and wind-swept Marlborough Downs, my own.

Ah, Marlborough, Martinsell, and Granham Hill !
To see below the little town outspread,
Standing beside the old White Horse's head.
That 'pads and pads,' unmoved and silent still.

The twin grey towers, a double sentinel,
The Chapel spire, the Mound, the Wilderness,
The bridge, and Rennet's silver sluggishness, —
Ah, Marlborough, Granham Hill, and Martinsell !

To stand before the satyr-haunted wood.
Or where I see the Vale beneath my feet ;
Beyond, the Plain's bare edges — ah, 'twere sweet
To stand again where often I have stood !

Or where I stand, up high above the earth
On grand Four Miler's top, yet see beyond
The waving trees by Barbury's ancient mound.
And share the wind's ecstatic solemn mirth.

Or where from Liddington I may behold
The mighty plain that stretches out of sight
Beyond dark Swindon town, and with delight
Gaze on a world, and wonder, as of old.

These are my friends: men, trees, and grassy downs,
Deep starry nights, wide spaces, and the high
Stern hills that teach our immortality,
And peaceful streams, and old forgotten towns.

These whom I loved, I honour and I hail, —
All these, — because I do not know my fate,
And yet I know my love so deep and great
That, death or life betide, it shall not fail.

Robin Clay 15 November 2018

This was his 43rd published poem, written Aug 1917

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