Wharram Percy*

In distance, ten, twenty miles. In time, five, six centuries.
Here, a roofless church looks out across a fish pond.
Once, it would have supplied food for the winter, water for the mill.
Now, it provides, peace, tranquility, a place of rest and reflection.

Long, long ago the village of Wharram Percy would have been bustling,
busy with the affairs of the day. No longer.
Small hummocks speak of what was,
Houses, a manor even, now long gone, almost hid from sight.

A track, grass covered, runs through the mounds.
A whole village once stood here. Forty, fifty or more houses.
Vanished, gone. The Voices that once echoed from house to house.
Are stilled, long forgotten. Except in the graveyard.

A small bench provides a seat, a place to sit and ponder what was,
and to enjoy what is. The sound of birds, wind rustling leaves,
Sunlight, white clouds, green hills and woodland. The movement of,
Ripples crossing the pond, a sense of peace, a place of beauty.

Soon it will be time to return, back, back,
To the roar of traffic, the noise of people.
But not yet. Stay, stay a little longer,
For where else is found such serenity?

 

*  It is hard to believe but there 3,000 or so known deserted medieval villages. The village of Wharram Percy was continuously occupied for six centuries before being abandoned in the 1500s. Now it stands deserted on the side of a remote and beautiful valley deep in the Yorkshire Wolds.

 

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