Towering Moments at Harlaxton Manor

By Dana Monroe Samson

The clock tower view of our long and straight path home
beneath the grace of a deferential sky,
gently subdues the village and vast manor grounds,
the distant castle, the places we've been — and inquires.
It beckons the memory of a day set far apart,
and the moment our hearts first beat within your time,
the breath you suddenly, eagerly took from me,
and the wondrous dream that soon would come to be.

Emboldened by the noble tenor ring,
an hour from Founders' Clock Tower is not just an hour.
With distinction of striking with gathering pallet and hoop,
in a way, you proclaim each day, that we are there
to imagine and create a world of something good,
to honour the greatness of that from which we've come,
While waking and living and learning at your command;
your sonnet may rival any in the land.

As London's morning softness from Westminster Bridge
gave houses repose and the Thames a mind of its own
and took the soulful Wordsworth in its debt,
the golden oak gives joy all the more,
joined by the sea, the breaking sea, because somewhere
in England, Tennyson saw them and heard them before
—all bettered by poets laureate and peers,
quite like our tower clock in Lincolnshire.

Mark purpose again in the substance of all our days;
chime beauty into the essence of our surroundings,
against the garden walls and ivy maze,
among the songs of strings and words of scholars,
through the halls our daughters and sons now have walked
and pondered the story your hands have worked to measure,
beyond a century and in their finest hour,
the story of a people told best from Founders' Clock Tower.

Every year, along with Ben's, they seek a voice,
those first you saw in prams and soft white collars.
In the mist of August days and April nights,
every purpose has a song—a time.
But now you are without a way to sing,
to reassure as parents with their presence,
escorting to school, to market and high tea—
as a steady English tower clock should be.

How great is the import of time in all our days?
It is greater than any other simple matter
or resource that we arrange and save and give
and quantify and qualify and share.
That the time and space we have together lived
should inspire and bear a mark of kind concern
will someday beckon the memory of a day set apart
and the moment your time again beat within our hearts.