And so from the genteel south, beneath London’s tow’ring glass spires,
And citadels to the city, its faith, finance, and fires,
The industry and from the temple to the trains of old,
Go forth I unto the North.
At first the route is London, crowded by the town,
But then we break to countryside and fields
And on and on for many miles, barely a town to see,
Until we travel further through the agéd town of Durham,
Its cathedral rearing high,
Watching over the city, the castle its ally,
And then we pass on further, past an iron angel high,
Wings outstretched, rougéd frame reaching to the sky.
Then York, the trains of old, steamers by the rail,
And Newcastle, many bridges spanning the river wide
Tall creatures made of metals, brightly-coloured as if a giant child
Had made them of its toys in some strange game.
The onwards to places by the sea,
Deep blue by rolling green,
The train past through the pleasant bones
Of dear Berwick-on-Tweed.
Then further still through cutting and field,
Past heather-scattered slopes,
Until we arrive to Edinburgh, surrounded by its sandstone walls
The yellow and grey stonework surrounding and enchanting me;
Standing in the next capital, thus ends my journey north.
Some time ago I travelled North for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Being a sappy soft Hampshire boy, with a great fondness for London, it’s pretty rare for me to travel north of Birmingham (Indeed, north of Islington). I’d never done it by train, but I wrote this the day after the journey. I hope you enjoy it.
The Hapless Neo-Romantic