The Kingdom Of The Downs

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A Highland Regiment and Other Poems by Ewart Alan Mackintosh
The Kingdom Of The Downs

BEYOND the woodland's shading,
  Beyond the sun-kissed field,
Where laughs in joy unfading
  The garden of the weald,
Look southward where uplifted
  Against the shining skies.
In secret vesture shifted,
  The silent Downs arise.

Until you see delusive
  Flash from the guardian down
A visioned land elusive,
  Dream of an unknown town,
And longing for the wonder,
  Strive what you dare not ask,
To rend the veil asunder
  And pluck away the mask.

Oh keep your spirit's vision
  Although your eyes be blind,
Nor tempt the gods* derision
  Of him that cannot find,
Lest you should lose the city
  That once afar you saw,
And with it lose — ah, pity I —
  All that was yours before.

Better dream on for ever
  What once you dreamt was true.
Ere knowledge can dissever
  Your visioned truth from you,
And from the wealden gazing
  Watch how the sunset crowns
With dreamful beacons blazing
  Your kingdom of the Downs.

In the Train, 1911