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The Old Mill

(the tidal mill in Forder Creek, Trematon)

by Dr Ken George

A train approaches powerfully;
we look yonder from the bridge fairly far;
we look directly at the sea in the South,
we see the old mill,
a house by the sea, a headland
on the bank of a creek of the Lynher estuary,
the place of the wall and a pond and a causeway;
all visible in the view from the bridge.
The pond full of the high tide,
water quivering across the pond.

Low tide has come, the beach is large,
extensive mud in place of a blue lake,
a pond which is choked though it is beautiful;
there is no rye, there is no draff,
white wheat nor buckwheat;
they are gone, alas and alack!
There is no machinery today;
whoever might have come formerly,
there is no trace behind them.
Where is the barley? Where are the oats?
Flour will last until the Judgment of the World;
the lifetime of the mill just ephemeral.

Every time we go in the train,
we give a look yonder from the bridge;
although this same sight is familiar,
we still look at the old mill.

Ken George in front of the old mill near Trematon

The Abandoned Engine House

engine houseby Edwin Chirgwin (Map Melyn)

I speak without hindrance, I sing of loss,
Green ivy grows on my grey walls,
I am full of emptiness, there are many holes in me,
And black crows get pleasant rest from me.

I still tell of the distant years
When what is now completely empty was once full of work;
Although I am a dwelling-place for silence, wind and rain make holes in me
Just as men used to make holes in the earth.

Their spirits survive within me,
They dwell like good friends within me,
In the sight of the living I am a ghost,
And only night hides my nakedness.

Map Melyn 
Edwin Chirgwin (1892-1960) was Headmaster of St Cleer school when he became a Bard at the Merry Maidens in 1932. He became Herald Bard in 1935 and was Gorseth Secretary from 1944 until 1960. His nephew John Jenkin was Gorseth Secretary from 1992 to 2001.

Sonnet for South Crofty

by Elsie Balme

If words were rocks, I'd hew them from the ground
And smelt a song of Crofty from their ore,
So strong grown men might weep to hear the sound
Of the great mine that was - and is no more.

The long inheritance - three thousand years
Is ended by the scratching of a pen -
As jobless men trudge homeward with their fears,
As mundic turns the river red again.

Red with the mine's blood - Crofty's bled to death
Time gone, day done, the story on the page
All told and over swifter than the breath
Of wind that rattles in that empty cage.

Sleep soft, South Crofty, pass into dreams, old friend.
Cornwall shall honour you until time's end.

South Crofty

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