Re: The Old Serpentine Temple at Avebury - Rev C Lucas
Apr 19, 2010, 21:37
Thus by the Dike, a single ring is rear’d
One hundred stones compos’d the pile completed
Two circles less inclosing, South and North;
But these with double rings, thirty the one,
The inward only twelve. Each stone agrees
In number, size and shape. The North Contains
A cove form’d of three stones triangular,
An antient altar this; – the south has one
To which they ty’d the victim; and another.
An Obelisk the highest of the group,
Which in the centre rears its spiring head…
Ah me! what lovely tints are there!
Of olive-green and scarlet bright,
In spikes, in branches, and in stars,
Green, red, and pearly white.
This heap of earth o'ergrown with moss,
Which close beside the thorn you see,
So fresh in all its beauteous dyes,
Is like an infant's grave in size
As like as like can be:
But never, never any where,
An infant's grave was half so fair.
(From Wordworth's poem, The Thorn.)*
Compare this with Stukeley's findings at several sites, as recorded in Stonehenge, a Temple Restor’d to the British Druids -
""About three foot below the surface, a layer of flints... about a foot thick, rested on a layer of soft mould another foot: in which was inclos’ed an urn full of bones... “The bones had been burnt, and crouded all together in a little heap, not so much as a hat would contain”... “We made a cross-section ten foot each way, three foot broad over its center... “At length we found a squarish hole cut into the solid chalk, in the center of the tumulus. It was three foot and a half, i.e., two cubits long, and near two foot broad, i.e. one cubit: pointing to Stonehenge directly. It was a cubit and a half deep from the surface”... Regarding “one of the small ones, 20 cubits in diameter,”... “A child’s body (as it seems) had been burnt here, and cover’d up in that hole: but thro’ the length of time consum’d. From three foot deep, we found much wood ashes soft and black as ink..."
"...there is no evidence as to when Wordsworth first read Stukeley, or that Wordsworth himself subscribed to Stukeley’s fatuous theories, we know from poems like “Salisbury Plain” that he was fascinated by Druid lore, and in the 1805 version of The Prelude he even characterized himself, during his studies at Cambridge (Stukeley’s alma mater), as a youthful initiate into the Druid class of Bards...""**