Tonight’s spectacular moon reminds me of the many pleasurable nights I spent wandering the wilds of Salisbury Plain with Blueboy, when we were both younger and more agile than we are now. During that time, I encountered many strange settings, from the forbidding to the eerily beautiful, while I always found myself drawn to the many ruined prehistoric monuments there, especially the old burial mounds.
I’m not aware of any musical barrows on Salisbury Plain, but these peculiar structures have always fascinated me, so it was gratifying to find some verse that reflects both my memories and my dreams of the magic evoked by moonlight and by ancient, earthen ruins,
“How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank!
Here will we sit and let the sounds of music
Creep in our ears. Soft stillness and the night
Become the touches of sweet harmony.”
William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice.