Penmaen Pool

To celebrate National Poetry Day


Who long for rest, who look for pleasure

Away from counter, court, or school

O where live well your lease of leisure

But here at, here at Penmaen Pool?


You’ll dare the Alp? You’ll dart the skiff?

Each sport has here its tackle and tool:

Come, plant the staff by Cadair cliff;

Come; swing the sculls on Penmaen Pool.


What’s yonder? Grizzled Dyphwys dim:

The triple-hummocked Giant’s stool,

Hoar messmate, hobs and nobs with him

To halve the bowl of Penmaen Pool.


And all the landscape under survey,

At tranquil turns, by nature’s rule,

Rides repeated topsy-turvy

In frank, in fairy Penmaen Pool.


And Charles’s Wain, the wondrous seven,

And sheep-flock clouds like worlds of wool.

For all they shine so, high in heaven,

Shew brighter shaken in Penmaen Pool.


The Mawddach, how she trips! Though throttled

If floodtide teeming thrills her full,

And mazy sands all water-wattled

Waylay her at ebb, past Penmaen Pool.


But what ‘s to see in stormy weather,

When grey showers gather and gusts are cool?

Why, raindrop-roundels looped together

That lace the face of Penmaen Pool.


Then even in weariest wintry hour

Of New Year’s month or surly Yule

Furred snows, charged tuft above tuft, tower

From darksome darksome Penmaen Pool.


And ever, if bound here hardest home,

You’ve parlour-pastime left and (who’ll

Not honour it?) ale like goldy foam

That frocks an oar in Penmaen Pool.


Then come who pine for peace or pleasure

Away from counter, court, or school,

Spend here your measure of time and treasure

And taste the treats of Penmaen Pool.


Gerard Manley-Hopkins

From the Visitors’ Book at the Inn

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