Hawsker Church


I fell for a ghost,
A spectre, a wraith,
I grappled to win her
In a wrestle with faith.

A wondrous creature,
A vision in white.
I knew I should leave her,
Beware of her bite.

Her present and past
I struggled to find;
Whatever her story –
I was out of my mind.

I knew nothing of her,
Nor she of me;
So however I tried
It just wasn’t to be.

She sighed with delight
As I caught her sweet breath,
And I knew with a shudder
She’d never trounce death.

For death had imbibed her,
Had taken her in
To its cold winter grasp,
And I never could win.

But her passion was endless.
It left me in dread
Of an endless uncoupling –
A  gift to the dead.

So I severed my heart strings
– Futile to resist.
Yes, my dream was a mirage
… What is love but a mist?


I n an earlier blog of mine (No.6. published on 1st August, 2016), I mentioned my love of William Wordsworth’s ‘Lucy’ poems. In another of his poems in similar tender vein, which has also long been a favourite of mine, he begins with the line, which has become the poem’s title, ‘She was a phantom of delight’.  The poem was written about his first meeting with, Mary Hutchinson, a pupil at the same school as William, who eventually became his wife.

The first stanza depicts the woman not as a creature of flesh and blood but as a phantom or an insubstantial being. He calls her an “apparition” that can “haunt, startle and waylay”.

For no particular reason that I am aware of, this set in motion a train of thought suggesting a liaison with a more genuine ‘phantom’, a wraith. The verses above were the result – in no way comparable with the subtleties and delights of Wordsworth’s poem.

The lead-in photograph at the top was taken by me on a foggy day at the ancient cliff-top church and churchyard of Hawser, near Whitby, on the North Yorkshire coast.  Some adaptations have been made to the photograph.