Green hills

Old hymns sometimes use a word whose primary meaning has changed over the years. It can be disturbing to some modern readers.


There is a green hill far away
Without a city wall”.
I used to wonder why that hill
Should want the thing at all.

I thought of all the hills I knew
That seemed to get on fine
Without a circling wall of stone
As part of their design . . .

But wait! Some landscape architect
Like Capability Brown
Might capture it to elevate
Some poor, flat-lying town!

Oh wouldn’t that be terrible,
It wouldn’t do at all.
“Our green hills are in danger,”
Must be our clarion call,

“They need your help. Please donate now –
There’s no time to delay –
So we can build some city walls
Round green hills far away.”

[Photo: BBC]
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