Once again, fortified by tea and cake
at the Abbey Tea rooms,
where you help yourself then do the adding up
for the trusting volunteer ladies,
we set off for our walk to the Wittenham Clumps,
this time intentionally and in fine weather.
The Poem Tree
As up on the hill with labr'ing steps we tread,
Where the twin Clumps their sheltering branches spread
The summit gain'd at ease reclining lay
And all around the widespread scene survey
Point out each object and instructive tell
The various changes that the land befel.
Where the low bank the country wide surrounds
That ancient earthwork form'd old Murcias bounds.
In misty distance see the barrow heave
There lies forgotten lonely Culchems grave.
Around this hill the ruthless Danes intrenched
And these fair plains with gory slaughter drench'd
While at our feet where stands that stately tower
In days gone by uprose the Roman power
And yonder, there where Thames smooth waters glide
In later days appeared monastic pride.
Within that field where lies the grazing herd
Huge walls were found, some coffins disinter'd
Such is the course of time, the wreck which fate
And awful doom award the earthly great.
Engraved on a nearby beech tree by Joseph Tubb 1844-5
Then, to hear the City of London choir at Dorchester Abbey
singing a programme of Vaughan Williams,
Holst, Gardner and Howells.
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