Housemartins darted above my head
Down Smardale Gill the pathway led.
The Poet’s Way I must have took
The scene unfolding like a book.
When Kirkby Stephen came in to sight
The town looked lovely bathed in light.
I stood beneath The Cloister’s shade
Within the townsfolk sang and prayed.
The Cathedral of the Dales seemed full
As precious as a rough-hewn jewel…
Yet, here, where all so tranquil seemed
Men of a juster world once dreamed.
And fought for what they thought was right
And stole like shadows through the nigh.
Words in stone now speak to us
How all are born of equal worth…
And, then, there was another sound
The Devil’s Grinding Mill going round.
And on the bridge, where the Eden flowed
The ghost of Thomas Wharton rode…
Thomas Wharton, the Warden of the Marches