( / Hull, East Yorkshire, England)

The Millennium Yew

On Gallows Hill by Skidby Mill
There grows a golden yew
On ground where once the hangman did
What hangmen have to do.

The tree was planted in that place
To mark the new millennium.
Treat it with care, it will be there
For many a moon to come.

Unlike those felons hung by hemp
The yew tree’s life is long,
A thousand years or more may pass
Yet still its growth is strong.

You can be sure that you and I,
Our very names obscured,
Will have become rich loam again
Before this tree’s matured,

And Skidby Mill will lie in ruin,
Strange structures span the sky,
Ten thousand things will rise and fall,
And many live and die.

Long years will pass and dusks and dawns,
Cold winds and rain and sun,
The seasons each will follow on
And still the yew be young.

And when at last it has grown old,
How will the world look then?
Will Man be there, or will the Earth
Have said to us ‘Amen’?

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Comments (1)

There is a delicious Yorkshire flavour to this excellent poem. I love trees, and I do think this a splendid poem. Thank you, Pete.