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Dartmoor Verse 2

Dartmoor Verse 2

Here is a poem that speaks of a man’s desire to be up on the open moor where his soul is at home, it’s a sentiment dear to many a moor-lovers heart. If you can detect a hint of history running through the lines that is because Alexander Henry Abercromby Hamilton had a passion for it and in 1892 was president of the Devonshire Association.



Too long have I dwelt

In the valley beneath ;

Too long have I felt

The soft summer wind’s breath ;

Too long have I lingered

In evergreen bowers,

And drank the air laden

With fragrance of flowers.


Let me fly to the mountains,

The noble, the free,

Whence, sparkling, the fountains

Leap down to the sea.

Let me feel their fresh breezes

Blow full on my breast ;

For toil better pleases

Than wearisome rest.


In haste, rapture-smitten,

I climb the steep Tor

Where the camp of the Briton

Looks over the moor.

Like the sea in its trouble

The granite hills rave,

Each hillock a bubble,

Each mountain a wave.

Oh ! wise were the oak-priests
Of ancient renown,
Who chose for their temples
The mountain’s gray crown ;
Who loved the wild moorland,
And sought, not in vain,
On the hills for the wisdom
Denied to the plain.

They felt the gale smiting
Their brows in its motion ;
They heard the stream fighting
Its way to the ocean.
They saw the rough granite
By thunderbolts riven,
And deemed that the mountains
Were nearest to heaven.

Still the old fire is burning
In fresh coruscations ;
Their ancestors’ yearning
Stirs new generations ;
We dwell in the lowland
For toil and for wealth,
But fly to the highland
For freedom and health.


Alexander Henry Abercromby Hamilton 1884

About Tim Sandles

Tim Sandles is the founder of Legendary Dartmoor

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