It busies up out of the summer night the moment we turn off the TV: birling of water that was the Mesolithic for survival, word of mouth from the first foragers to the flint traders on the ridgeway: Drop down to the spring line! Where the Romans were glad enough to drink too, though she seemed more maenad than nymph, this spirit even the ice could not still, driven as the white petals that broke from the blackthorn. The monks tried to gentle her, Our Lady’s Well, as they drew the water for their beadhouse on the hill. Generations came down to drink after Mattins, or to fill the font for a christening. But what ravels under the siltstone arch will pass the Atlantic through the harebell and still not rest.
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