on a winter's night watching the armaments factory you can hear the pig latin of centurions complaining of the cold

by elizabeth veldon

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during ww2 soldiers where stationed in murdoch castle, a 13th century fortification now incorporated into murdoch county park, to guard the clydebank armaments factories, fuel dumps and the local reservoir.

within a mile or two of this stands the antonine wall which was the furthest north the romans managed in scotland.

this seeks to unite the experience of both soldiers and perhaps allow their ghosts to meet on a cold winter night.

this was partly inspired by the following houseman poem:

On Wenlock Edge

On Wenlock Edge the wood's in trouble;
His forest fleece the Wrekin heaves;
The gale, it plies the saplings double,
And thick on Severn snow the leaves.

'Twould blow like this through holt and hanger
When Uricon the city stood:
'Tis the old wind in the old anger,
But then it threshed another wood.

Then, 'twas before my time, the Roman
At yonder heaving hill would stare:
The blood that warms an English yeoman,
The thoughts that hurt him, they were there.

There, like the wind through woods in riot,
Through him the gale of life blew high;
The tree of man was never quiet:
Then 'twas the Roman, now 'tis I.

The gale, it plies the saplings double,
It blows so hard, 'twill soon be gone:
To-day the Roman and his trouble
Are ashes under Uricon.

A.E. Housman

the cover is a section of the antonine wall


released June 25, 2012



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