Rosebury Topping

Early morning over the frosted fields of Aireyholme.

George Markham Tweddell was a Victorian poet who lived for most of his life in Stokesley. His poems have a resonance to local places and life. He wrote two poems with the title Rosebury Topping. This is the longer one:

Who has not heard of famous Rosebury?—
The favourite hill of ev’ry Cleveland bard,
Standing as sentinel the vale to guard,—
A thing of strength and beauty. May it be
Unto our children’s children dear as now
It is to us. Sacred it was, I ween,
To the Brigantes, whose war-pits are seen
As yet we climb the mountain: on whose brow
Bold warriors watched, prepar’d to meet the foe,—
Proud of their woad-stains, and rude weapons they
Were so well skill’d to use. When will the day
Dawn on us when mankind need only know
The arts of peace?—for men will some day see
That love, not hate, alone can yield felicity.

I’ve sat on Rosebury with many a bard

Whose heart-strings, once so musical, are mute
On earth for ever: we full well did suit
Each other, in congenial regard
For the loved landscape here unfurl’d to view.
Yonder towers Gisbro’s fine old ruin’d arch
Memento of the past—our onward march
Mark’d by yon blast-furnaces: churches not a few,
Towns, farmsteads, rivers, fields of every hue—
As grass, and corn, and fallow—and o’er all
The watchet ocean; prospects that ne’er pall
Upon one’s tastes: the picture’s ever new.

We may roam far and wide before we see
A finer sight than here from Rosebury.

The grand historic Cheviots meet the eye

At times from here. You ocean with its ships
Laden with commerce, till the welkin dips
Into the main: Tees, too, whose steamers ply,
Despite of wind or tide, both too and fro,
In quick succession; whilst close at our feet
The wildflowers bloom, where fields and woodlands meet
The wide-spread moors, now with their golden glow
Of whins in Flower, anon in purple clad
Of ling which bloom’d there long ere the Britons trod
Where now we find their urns beneath the sod,
With charcoal from the wood with which they had
So long since been cremated. To us here
The Bygone and the Present both are near.



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