I am currently in Edinburgh, my very favourite city in the world. This may be because I have never actually lived here so its novelty has never worn off, still feeling like something of a treat to visit. I’ve been coming here since I was a toddler and the city has always seemed magical to me. I feel like this poem captures something of its allure, with the Castle looming up out of the centre and the omnipresent bagpipe music letting you know that you’re back in the Burgh. I love that this poem which was published in the 1890s can still describe somewhere that I know and love in 2016.
From a Window on Princes Street
Above the Crags that fade and gloom
Starts the bare knee of Arthur’s Seat;
Ridged high against the evening bloom,
The Old Town rises, street on street;
With lamps bejewelled, straight ahead,
Like rampired walls the houses lean,
All spired and domed and turreted,
Sheer to the valley’s darkling green;
Ranged in mysterious disarray,
The Castle, menacing and austere,
Looms through the lingering last of day;
And in the silver dusk you hear,
Reverberated from crag and scar,
Bold bugles blowing points of war.
William Ernest Henley
For past Saturday Poems, take a look at the archive in Poetry Please.