A Cornish Anthology by A. L. Rowse (auth.)

By A. L. Rowse (auth.)

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Sample text

EDMUND HocKIN, the squire of Phillack, was a bachelor of almost sixty who lived in a small house at the top of the village he owned. Here, with an elderly housekeeper to look after him, he devoted himself to two passions-growing vegetables better than anybody else in Cornwall, and the preservation of old Cornish apples like Sops in Wine, Cornish Gillyflowers, Irish Peaches, Tom Putts, Sweet Larks, and many other the names of which I have forgotten. He seemed doubtful at first about letting Riviere House because it I8 would mean parting with that acre of potatoes on the left as one entered the gates of the drive up to the house.

Snowfall at Kernick Here with a burly flutter and sting The snow-blast scampers winnowing, And dribble of foam-flakes seeps and bores Through clay-clump thickets, under doors; While flurry of snow-mist rises where The waggons tug till rails are bare. The smoke is battered round the stacks; Soot falls with snow on trolley-tracks. Even the mica-channel planks And narrow walls of settling-tanks Are frilled and ice-splashed there between The frozen pools now sickly green. The pit-edge merges with the fields, A softened gash the clay-bone shields; Beyond it in the valley's fold Virginia woods loom taut and cold.

From the fields at Carleon, between the valley and the sea, night is seen touching the valley into a gentle and glowing harmony. The valley, a deep dell sunk into the midst of a circle of rocks covered with thin green foliage, is a nest and bower of soft trees, which rise cluster above cluster almost to the edge of the sky, where the rocky line of the field ends it. Above, you see the bars of colour left over by the sunset; the moon hangs aloft between the valley and the sea; and as the valley withdraws into the rich darkness of the earth, the sea still glitters with gray light, to where white clouds come down out of the sky and rest upon it.

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