Crumbling Wall

The Old Ruins
by: Mary Dow Brine (1816-1913)

If ye could speak, old ruins,
That rise in stately pile,
As tho’ ye longed to boast the power
That ye possessed erewhile;
If ye could tell the grandeur
Of the old days long past,
Ere Time, with his destroying touch,
Came ruthlessly and fast,
To level all the glory
That clung to your proud walls–
Ah! grand would be the story
Of those ancestral halls!
What tales of high-born maidens!
What tales of Cavaliers!
What comedies and tragedies!
What tales of hopes and fears!
What stories, too, of triumphs,
And tales of wrong and right!
What histories of the clouds of life,
And of its joys so bright!
But solemn is the silence
That reigns about you here;
Your secret hides in the deep heart
Of the old forest drear,
And Peace is ever brooding
Above your crumbling walls,
And heaven’s sunshine dances thro’
The space of vanished halls.

This old rock wall is on our farm, oh that these old rocks could tell their stories. I love to imagine the life that took place within the walls of this old house a hundred years ago. As I painted the fireplace I wondered what might have been stuffed into stockings hung by this mantel Christmases past. I painted in plein air, but I had to remember the lovely apricot light, for it never lasts long.