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York in Poetry: A Haven

Posted on 25 November 2012 | Poem

Away from crowds, race-goers,
bargain–hunters, crocodiles, fire-eaters, buskers,
out of all that, we step
through an elegant gate
into this calm
of the Treasurer’s House Garden.
Tucked away, between Chapter House Row
and Ogleforth, enclosed
by high mellow walls
- a haven.
Plane trees offer shade,
dappled bark, – silver, sand, moss.

Here all is uncluttered,
formal, paved, lawned, bordered.
Hostas and heucheras, cool green,
nothing loud, nothing violent.
All muted.
A fragrant wisteria
winds its way over the pitted stonework
toward a deep, arched, recessed door.
A stone cherub guards an alcove, tends a pool.
A blackbird sings.
This place answers a need in us for peace.

Then I remember Vanburgh’s play,
Here. One Autumn
Actors, leaping in over the wall,
bursting through the door
all action.
all candlelit, all magic.
Let The Treasurer’s House
work its magic on you, Simon and Kate
on this your wedding day.
Let marriage be a haven
to build your store of peace and joy
with candlelight, magic
and laughter.
And let there be more
to celebrate.

- Elizabeth Sandie