An ancient castle, torn and rent,
Its ivy covered battlements
And battered keep the world survey
For no-one now can see the day
When once its walls were painted white,
Its halls were full of sound and light;
When knights and yeomen manned its walls,
And banners flew from ramparts tall.
Some say this place is sad and dark,
That its ruined presence fills the park
With tales of woe and misery
That come from times in history;
That chivalry, so long now dead,
Has left this place a place of dread;
Its crumbling walls, all falling down
Have stolen from this place its crown.
To them I say," That's not the case!
To me, the beauty of this place
Is not the sound of armour's clank!
Not knights, nor kings, nor men of rank!
To me, 'tis nature's work again
That's beautified the work of men,
That's made these walls once white and tall
A crumbling pleasure for us all!"
The castle's meadow, dark, is kissed
By rays of sunlight through the mist.
The steam that from the moat now lifts
Is caused by sunlight's dappled kiss.
The broken gates, of rusty iron
Where rose and jasmine intertwine
Are far more beautiful to me
Than gallant knights of history!
The lists, where once the jousts were fought
with wild flowers now are sweetly wrought.
The forecourt there, once paved with stone
Is now with daisies overgrown.
The remnants of the outer wall
Now echo with the blackbird's call;
And tiny creatures, quick and fleet,
Now play, where soldiers used to eat.
For once was I this fortress wide;
My banners flew in haughty pride!
Till despots brought me crashing down
In shattered fragments to the ground!
Serenity, please turn the clock,
Green moss, come grow o'er jagged rock!
Soft flowers, heal my battle scars;
Tranquility, come fill my hours.