Hadrian’s Wall

Gateway to Milecastle 37

Gateway to Milecastle 37

Coventina’s Well

Coventina
what do we know
of you, or your people?
How they honoured you
at the stone
rim of the well
all their posting through,
in seasons long ago:
casting coins into your spring
under the high ripple
of curlew in the sun –
nodding as tawny bracken stirred
by the cistern sides –
or breaking February’s ice
with scabbard, rather than
offensive sword, to make
some votive offering
to the spirit of the place!

Hear the bridle shake
as the Prefect rides
once more, and spurs
out to the hawk-flown
distance of the fell.

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