From the terrace at Polesden Lacey, it was
the guttural calls caught our attention –
then sheep flowing fast over rising ground
like a pale yellow banner in the wind,
then the shepherd himself, then his dogs
flattening themselves at his command.
By the time we reached the valley bottom,
the beasts were penned – lambs from ewes,
the latter funnelled for the shearers.
The bleating drowned the whirring of the clippers.
From the high bridge over the Tweed at Kelso,
we watched a fisherman upstream cast
from a skiff – his companion sculling gently
to keep steady in the current – when,
suddenly, between us and the men,
who, of course, were facing the wrong way,
two salmon leapt from the river six feet
or more and, turning, re-entered the depths
silently. Oblivious, on those costly
waters, the ghillie rowed, his master fished.