Swáre-burn

10 miles it flows
From Forest source
To reed-bound mouth
Needwood’s life-blood;
Cloaked in a medieval patina
Of beech, of oak, of ash
Neck-clasped by the lustrous bricks
Of its arch-back bridges.
Yet there is no stealth here, no subterfuge
No lazy meanders
Its fair valley is straight-cut
Rare glimpses, treasured:
A distant spire; brooding Pines.
Swar bourn – swáre burn
Our Saxon fathers dubbed it – slow brook
In flow, perhaps

But not in flood.

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