Pim Claridge

Life in the Scottish Borders, one stanza at a time

Where Corded Tassels Swing

Perhaps you sat here once
and looked on deep green against pale stones
and hedges, clipped and secretive, and roses
sprawled from arches mellowed in the sun?
a hush lies deep where old books glow
etched in gold, and worn by many hands
they wait now on polished shelves,
while in your evening-shadowed hall
a late sun slants on silver swords
still wrapped loud in battle songs
beside steel helmets, spears and guns,
and shields embossed with brass
and horns, from Africa where air lay soft
on sun baked, night-dimmed plains.
beside the window framed by curtains faded red
a pair of heavy corded tassels swing and
whisper secrets of another legendary age
and did you also hear old floorboards creak
beneath passing feet, as you sat, with
windows wide to the rivers song
as dusk fell and a pale moon shone?