The London Adventure p.137 Arthur Machen
Tuesday, 14 October 2008
The Grey Hills
I would write of a man on his summer holiday,… I would write of him as coming to my old territory , and as he ran down the shore of the Severn and the level lands to Newport noting something strange, in the shape of the wild Grey Hills to the north, something outland in those greeny dells of Wentwood, that hide in their lower slopes buried walls and temples. I would take my man to Caerleon-on-Usk and show him the grey Roman walls mouldering there above the green turf, and show him the red sunset over the mountain, and the tawny river swimming to the flood. He should go wandering away, this unfortunate fellow, into such a country as he had never dreamed of; he should lose himself in intricacies of deep lanes descending from wooded heights to hidden and solitary valleys, where the clear water of the winding brook sounds under the alder trees. He should be high on Mynydd Maen in the morning, in the fullness of the sun, and drink in the wind that blows there, and look out on the rolling billows of the land, and far down yellow Severn Sea; and finally he should come home again to London and perceive that wonderful things have been wrought in him; that these woods and hollows, these ancient walls and buried temples, this might and majesty of sun and wind upon the summit of the great mountain wall, these enclosed, still valleys of hidden peace and wonder; that all these things have discoursed to him a great mystery, whereby his soul has been renewed within him.