ODE TO BURTON LONG SINCE GONE
The mighty trucks with their loads of stoneThunder through from Portland,Down the High Street and past the PoundThen the hill confronts them.A change of gear, a long slow climband Devil take the hindmost-A National Bus approaching slowWonders 'Will I make it ?
Whilst Lou sits passive on his benchHis little dog beside himAnd waits with his all-knowing smileWhile the rush goes on around him.He ponders on the time gone byBefore the petrol engineWhen Burton was a peaceful PlaceWith little to disturb them.
The Reading Room with cosy fireAnd Newspapers and Billiards,Stan Wilas and his village shopThe Dove and its strong cider.The Horseshoes with its one small barWhere fishermen coud drink in peaceAnd talk of boats and seines and tidesWith not a thought of how they dressedOr can they wear their Wellies.
The women in their long black skirtsA gossiping at doorwaysTheir hands at all times busilyWorking at their nets and braids.The Village Dance on Sat'day night,The flirting with the fillies.Sunday morning go to churchThen on to beer and skittles.
The cottages in SouthoverBefore the fire destroyed them.The boats pulled high on Chesil BeachNo tar then to pollute them.Bertie dashing down the hill'The mackeral are straying'The dropping of the hoes and spadesThen the mad dash to net them.
The stables by the old 'Dove Inn'Where horse and cart were ready,The sea harvest to collect.Then the wild race toward West BayWher the fish salesme awaited.The lass who came from Abbotsburyflat fish from there did carryTo sell in Bridport each WednesdayThe fish- but ne're her cunny.
Does Dennis still remember nowTree vaults across the river?The gatherings in the Anchor barThe shotgun blasts and curses?The foxes kept within the pensTo serve the Gentry's pleasures.And what is now Norburton HallThat then was known as 'Sturdies.
Next we come to a tree lined hedgeAnd then the fir lined walkWhere we waited for the Shipton kidsThe noddies for to pelt them.The stealthy watchAs the gardener leftFor his noonday cider.Then into the greenhouse,Through the treesTo pinch his fruitsFor we were hungry.The high stone styleFrom the Shipton trackThe school gardens 'longside it.
The flaxen millWith its water-wheelThe river underneath it-No need then for a book to learnFor it was all around you.Food came then from men and fieldAnd not in cans or packets.Fish a'plenty from the sea,Morning mushrooms by the score,Eggs from hens around the doorAnd cider by the bucket.The Legion marching down the streetTheir banner proudly flying.The men with medals shining brightAll gained with honour in the fight-To keep their homeland free.
For boys-The organ in the church to pump,Their names to carve with a knife that's bluntWhile the Parson preached his sermon.
Walking back from town at dusk,The setting sun behind you.No cars or lorries rushing byBelching fumes to choke you,Only the smell of God's good earthAnd the saltspray from the briny.But progress in the name of healthWas rapidly approaching.
The sewage scheme, which proved too muchFor Pitt-Rivers and his resources.No more could one sit in the little hutDown at the bottom of the garden,Reading the news from the torn up squaresOf yesterdays Echo and Guardian.
For the developers and the agents cameAnd there was a mighty auction.But, no need for more,You can see the score.The results are all around us.