The summer symphony of the river Barle Grows louder with each footstep. As we leave the modern world behind, Descending into the hidden valley, Watched over by whispering oak, elder and ash. At first the ancient bridge is barely visible – Camouflaged against the mottled river bed And the quiet shade. Then – as eyes become accustomed to the dappled light It materialises, mirage-like. Roughly hewn flat, grey slabs braced by flying buttress shards Seemingly growing from the earth to meet man’s need - Sixty paces of untold history across the now quiescent water. We cross, half-expecting to meet ancestral engineers on the other side, As the ever-changing harmonics of river on stone Ease our cares away, Into stillness..........