Ragged sheep graze moortops
Midst windbent gorse and heather
Lowry figures trudge to work
Heads bowed against the weather.
Stone walls form the skeleton
Of our blue remembered hills
Where terraces crawl up valleysides
From dark satanic mills
I heard a curlew calling
Her plaintive song of yore
Above these hallowed counties
Where Vikings went before
Her chorus contained questions
Of where our truth might be
Embroidered in our accents
Or lost to history.
We are the children of Captain Cook
And of Emily Davison too
Heirs to soil and industry
In this landscape that they knew.
To grinning caricaturists
We never shall succumb
Up North is where the heart is -
Great Britain’s beating drum.
I wrote this poem today - June 29th 2020. The photograph at the top is of John Crowther Mill at Marsden near Huddersfield. It was taken on November 7th 2013.
Lowry - refers to the northern industrial paintings of L.S. Lowry (1887-1976)
Captain Cook - James Cook, the Yorkshire seafarer and explorer (1728-1779)
Emily Davison - suffragette martyr buried in Morpeth, Northumberland (1872-1913)