Charles Fisher

1914 - 2006 / Swansea

Cammarch Waters

Musical as birds are the Cammarch waters I see
Keeping the white, slow village; and all around
Lie the familiar meadows. Bitterly
Have I missed you, Cammarch, and my own high ground.

Oh, dark as August oaks, older than they,
Flowed the wide river then; time brought no tears
I was immortal as the long summer day
My love was Wales, her tremendous signatures.

Walking in hills the shape of thunder I learned
An alphabet of stone, how to decipher
The speech of mistletoe, and when the wind
Spent on a beach or grass cast up its treasure
I ran to grasp each secret and syllable
Hero and castaway, the wreck of fable,
The wish for love, the heavy news of death

Which soon I leave for other hands to take
And mark until the tongues of water break
Give me this gift, bird-throated Cammarch, the notes
Learned of Rhiannon. They are mine to take.
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