Lincoln Time

Memior at 82, Cockle Bay

I climbed the playground pine,
I heeded my seaward star,
I worked, I walked, I painted time;
I heard, I saw, I went to war.
There was a world once mine.

We raced for the sheltering inn,
We held the rug and shivering crossed
An England where all ardour snows;
The Lincoln green that England lost
Grows endlessly a rose.

The swallows of the fens return
Before the weather falls
To their castle of the feathered nest,
And the cattle to their stalls.

White fields, long oaks of Lincoln time
And cathedrals sailing into bells,
And homing oars of finished pine
On Great South cockleshells:

There was a world once mine.