Lines written for an auspicious occasion, by Nicholas Fowler

(The following effusion is by Nicholas Fowler, eighteenth century poet, scientist, philosopher, wit and owner of Coswold, a splendid and renowned estate, who was miraculously reincarnated in June 2013 for the sole purpose of writing it.)

The summons having woken me, I hied,
Caring no whit for time or even tide,
Toward the north, where Solway runs its course
Through Scotia's windy plains where lies its source,
Where Devil's Porridge boils, where fields are bleak
And Burns the ploughman makes his rough verse speak.
My spirits droop as further still I tread, 
When suddenly, like Lazarus from his bed,
They rise, as Gretna's  purlieus do me face.
For here a miracle I see, a blessed place,
A sanctuary, alive with tree and flower,
With many a bubbling stream and bosky bower, 
Colourful, lush, abundant, leafy, ferny, 
Another Hidcote, Sissinghurst, Giverny. 
Nature and man together made this scene.
What beauty now? What barb'rousness has been?

But soft.  Figures approach.  What is their quest?
Do they mean harm or are they for the best?
A ministrant?  Who to?  What does she carry?
A book?  A register of those who marry?
Are those her acolytes who shyly pace
And in the tiny belvedere take their place? 
And why so quiet?  Breathlessly they stand.
Surely some revelation is at hand.

Yes!  Two I had not thought to see draw near 
To start a journey set for many a year.  
For sure, there's something rakish in their mien.
Have they eloped to here, to Gretna Green?
Their tryst is secret. Is it racked with guilt?
Are heirs disowned?  Are families split, blood spilt?
Oh no.  They glory in their escapade,
Proceeding joyfully once their choice was made.
The bride is beautiful in royal blue.
The birds are hushed in awe; the squirrels too
Pause in their business as she passes by.
"Did you not see my lady," is their cry, 
"Go down the garden smiling?"  As her swain,
Faithful and loving, free from every strain,
Beside her walks, engarbed in sober grey,
Savouring this moment, knowing it will stay,
The sea doth murmur and the very tide
On Solway's firth doth turn and softly glide
Towards the land to hear the rite, the vow 
Confirming that, oh yes! they're married now. 
The ceremony is short.  The ministrant's soft,
Mellifluous voice sends loving thoughts aloft.
Hymen, the god, and Cupid, meddlesome boy,
Hasten to Earth to join in all this joy,
To make a fitting end to this great day
And wish all happiness to Dennis and Kay.

Sadly, the laws of supernatural physics forced Nicholas Fowler to return from whence he came at the very instant that he laid down his quill.  He can be found within the pages of a novel penned by the groom, Spirit of the Place('intriguing, unusual, engrossing': 5-star review) first published in 1995, now available, revised and extended, on Kindle and, with luck, shortly as a printed edition.  On that shameless plug, I will end.


Susan Price said…
Warmest congratulations on your nuptials, Dennis!
Jan Needle said…
cally told me she thought that you'd got married. i had assumed that you and the lovely kay already were.

three things now:

why wasn't i told? how dare you!

you're not geting a present, obviously.

that was indeed the most shameless bit of puffery in the history of the genre. well done!

love and congratulations, too....
Jan Needle said…
not only shameless, but successful. i've just bought the book on amazon. so you did get a present after all. and so did i! ain't cyberbooks wunnerful...
CallyPhillips said…
Spirit of the Place is an excellent book. (in any format) Dennis Hamley is a jolly good fellow. No more need be said. Except, get your pennies ready for his NEXT great novel - Out of the Mouths of Babes. It's ALSO great and Dennis proves he is still a jolly good fellow!
Even though he ran away to Gretna Green without telling us. I wonder if he can go in the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest elopee?
Happy days Dennis and Kay!
Kathleen Jones said…
How lovely Dennis!!! And to have a bard at your wedding!! Enough exclamation marks - I wish you and Kay every good thing and much happiness.
Dennis Hamley said…
No Jan, sad to say we were living in sin. First time for 50 years. Getting married was, I suppose, a jape, though entirely inevitable and absolutely RIGHT. Sorry you didn't know. You should keep up with AE Private. The UKBA will probably try to say it's a sham marriage. If we weren't dependent on their good will I'd tell them to get stuffed. It was lovely keeping it a dead secret from everybody for all those months. Thanks for buying SOTP. Well, someone's got to, I suppose. Hope you like it. Cally - Guinness Book of Records. That's a good idea, though I suspect I'm nowhere near the top. Yes, Kathleen, it's nice to know a few bards willing to do things for you without payment! I'll get my Elizabethan playwright out next time I need one. And thank you all for your congratulations and good wishes.
julia jones said…
Oh I do love this! I remember years and years ago being asked to be a witness at a wedding because I was working for an anonymous counselling organisation and the bride and groom were desperate that no one should discover that they'd been Mr & Mrs for years without ever having signed on the dotted line. Now they needed to sort out their pensions ... But you, Dennis and Kay, are true romantics.
Unknown said…
Like something from a story book. How wonderful for you.
Lovely! And many congratulations.

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