In Mercy’s Tenderness

A string of foundations down the hillside
Rilled terraces and tended vine of pearly muscutel
Carved in the slopes like steps
Built up as layered soilbeds

And protected from weather’s ravages
By ancient drystone walls
Trimmed neat and bright a children’s beds –
As if by a friendly giant from a fable

And below it, on the valley’s far side
As I zigzag down, a hamlet whose wines are far headier
Than any grown in my own country
I long to roll their flavours on my tongue

This is a place where the air itself is sweet
It collects in greater densities, absorbs more freshness
And rushes out to greet me, as I approach the fountains

Here I have come to ask for peace,
To plead for it, quietly with myself alone
I shall stay tonight at the village inn and in the morning
I will walk these hill of fountains
In mercy’s tenderness.

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