Farewell from Tennyson Down – a poem by Ruth Gilchrist

Farewell from Tennyson Down

After Tennyson’s ‘Crossing the Bar’

“One day I`ll go sailing,” you`d said.
Sixteen, alone, I watched you cross the bar.
Of course, there was foam,
I hated you for it.
I felt the future cliff behind me,
fought the tide to keep you with me,
even with your withered boards,
crippled sail and splintered mast.

Now, up here on Tennyson Down a skylark calls.
I have let your ship sail out of sight, and turned
to lanes where children ride their bikes,
lizards bask and chestnuts ripen.
Chapel bells and thatched cottages evoke a time,
but this time is for living.


Ruth Gilchrist is an award-winning poet living in East Lothian, published in magazines and anthology. She enjoys being part of several writing groups as well as performing her pieces. Ruth writes on a variety of subjects and experiments with different poetry forms. Her joint pamphlet The Weather Looks Promising is published by Black Agnes Press.


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