Now and Then

by Doug Pugh


Furrowing plough and sweating brow,
Smiths’ hammers’ might, shady pools’ respite.
This is Shropshire now,
that was Shropshire then.

Clash of swords, old Roman fords,
belching factory stacks, winding foothill tracks.
Hectic roads and juggernaut loads,
cascading flowers and looking glass towers.
This is Shropshire now,
that was Shropshire then.

Snaking powerful river, full of silt,
winding past the peak that the Giant built.
Many rolling hills, filled with the bleat of sheep,
waving golden ears, ready to reap.
Proud bridge of Iron, over which many feet hike,
far to the west, the mounds of Offa’s dyke.
This is Shropshire now,
that was Shropshire then.

Peal of children’s laughter, sombre brooding lake,
some of the things that Shropshire make.
Old silent factories, the past is held dear,
hope for the future, all are welcome here.
Cherry blossomed gardens, hot air balloons overhead,
legends and monuments to people long dead.
Thatched little houses, half-timbered streets,
knock-kneed foal feeds on the mare’s teats.
This is Shropshire now,
that was Shropshire then.


Copyright © October 5, 1990 by Doug Pugh

 

High Street
High Street, Shrewsbury

Fish Street
Fish Street, Shrewsbury

Wrekin Dawn
Wrekin Dawn, Shropshire

Published in Voices from the West Country, Anchor Books, 1995, p. 108.

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