The Mendip Hills
Priddy Nine Barrows
'From the southern edge of the Mendip Hills, on a clear day, you can see Glastonbury Tor,' said Quintin, gazing questioningly towards the south. Miranda turned instead to look westwards towards Cheddar Gorge, which was much nearer, but the sky was brooding and only a limestone wall was visible in the distance. So she turned her attention to the huge Bronze Age round barrows they had climbed up to see.
'These hills are riddled with caves,' said Quintin, breathlessly as they approached the highest tumulus on one of the long lines of four-thousand-year-old burial mounds.
'Its a warm wind, the west wind, full of bird's cries,' replied Miranda, as she stopped to gaze up at the sky and try to judge whether any of the dark, rain-bearing clouds was approaching them. 'I never hear the west wind but tears are in my eyes.'
'For it comes from the west lands, the old brown hills,' echoed Quintin, who had memorised the poem they had been pouring over the evening before. 'And April's in the west wind, and daffodils.'
It's a fine land, the west land, for hearts as tired as mine.
Apple orchards blossom there, and the air's like wine.
There is cool green grass there, where men may lie at rest.
And the thrushes are in song there, fluting from the nest.
'Will ye not come home brother? ye have been long away.
It's April and blossom time, and white is the may;
And bright is the sun brother, and warm is the rain –
Will ye not come home, brother, home to us again?
'The young corn is green, brother, where the rabbits run.
It's blue sky, and white clouds, and warm rain and sun.
It's song to a man's soul, brother, fire to a man's brain.
To hear the wild bees and see the merry spring again.
Larks are singing in the west, brother, above the green wheat.
So will ye not come home, brother, and rest your tired feet?
I've a balm for bruised hearts, brother, sleep for aching eyes.'
Says the warm wind, the west wind, full of bird's cries.
It's the white road westwards is the road I must tread
To the green grass, the cool grass, and rest for heart and head.
To the violets, and the warm hearts, and the thrushes song,
In the fine land, the west land, the land where I belong.
The West Wind, by John Masefield.