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Legend of the Leeds Lions

Robert Haigh Avatar    Block poet from commenting on your poetry

Below is the poem entitled Legend of the Leeds Lions which was written by poet Robert Haigh. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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The poem is below.

Legend of the Leeds Lions

Four large stone lions guard Leeds Town Hall;
They sit with poise and style.
No-one sees them move at all,
Though children see them smile!

One hundred and fifty years they've been
Guarding without a sound.
Many a sight they must have seen
While holding their hallowed ground!

The legend says, when midnight strikes,
The lions all change places.
Unnoticed by the passing Tykes,*
Four lions go through their paces!

And furthermore (the legend goes),
On very rare occasions
Thirteen chimes are heard by those
Four lions at their stations!

With thirteen chimes the lions come down,
To walk the streets with ease;
For time is frozen through the town,
And no-one ever sees!

The lions are back where they belong,
When normal time resumes.
With nothing different - nothing wrong;
Or so the town assumes!


Author note: On the Town Hall steps of Leeds, in West Yorkshire, England, stand four stone lions, carved by William Day Keyworth Jr. They have stood guard there since 1867, when the old town first became a city. Legend has it that at midnight the lions change places, and that on very rare occasions the clock strikes thirteen, causing time to become frozen for a short while. Then, according to the legend, the lions leave their posts and walk around the town before returning to their original positions as if nothing had happened.

* A Tyke is a person from Yorkshire.

Copyright © | Year Posted 2017

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Date: 10/5/2017 1:44:00 PM
Nice fable, Robert. Very entertaining and enjoyable to read this poem be. Top-notch poetry. Love and joy always.
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Robert Haigh
Date: 10/7/2017 10:18:00 AM
Thank you Freddie!
Date: 10/4/2017 3:19:00 PM
I like the stone lions.I see them on the driveway og some homes. i think they are beautiful. have a nice day my friend.
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Robert Haigh
Date: 10/4/2017 3:25:00 PM
Thank you Darlene! You have a nice day too!
Date: 10/2/2017 7:58:00 PM
What an awesome write Robert. I totally enjoyed your narrative and your author's notes that provided a bit more historic flair to the piece. Excellently written, as always, with beautiful rhythm and rhyme.
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Robert Haigh
Date: 10/3/2017 11:09:00 AM
Thank you for your lovely comments, Susan!
Date: 10/2/2017 6:52:00 AM
I love the way this interesting narrative goes, the mysterious thirteen chimes and the lions coming to life to do their paces. If I ever visit I'll be watching out for it. A wonderful write Robert....Maria
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Robert Haigh
Date: 10/2/2017 1:51:00 PM
Thank you for reading and commenting, Maria! Much appreciated!
Date: 10/1/2017 10:19:00 AM
I like how your narrative adds historical context. A well told story.
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Robert Haigh
Date: 10/1/2017 10:25:00 AM
Thank you, Richard!
Date: 10/1/2017 9:05:00 AM
Great narrative my friend...enjoyed your description of the stone lions...god bless...^WW^
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Robert Haigh
Date: 10/1/2017 9:52:00 AM
Thank you WW! Glad you liked this!
Date: 10/1/2017 4:53:00 AM
A fanciful legend! I've never been to England and would love going there for a short vacation while I still have life – I'll be 79 in November! NTW, a tyke in American english is a little boy. Many thanks for reading my work. / M
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Robert Haigh
Date: 10/1/2017 5:36:00 AM
Thank you Maurice! We also use the expression, "little tyke" here in England, meaning an impish child. But Yorkshire folks are often called Tykes (capital T). The Yorkshire Cricket Team are known as the Tykes. Have a great day!
Date: 9/30/2017 6:17:00 PM
Very delightful! Reminds me of my Dad and Mother at age 23 and 21, riding stone lions in front of a building here in Texas. It was in the 30s and all good fun. Nowadays it would probably create an incident. LOL.
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Robert Haigh
Date: 10/1/2017 3:01:00 AM
Yes, times change! Thank you for reading and commenting!
Date: 9/30/2017 12:20:00 PM
Charming read Robert, one might suppose the tale came after a Tykes long night at the pub...
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Robert Haigh
Date: 9/30/2017 1:23:00 PM
Ha-ha! Yes, you could be right about the night at the pub, Charlie! Thanks for reading and commenting!
Date: 9/30/2017 6:10:00 AM
Your poems are so unique Robert--this is so much fun to read...if you didn't tell us about the legend--I would have easily given credit to your imagination!!
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Robert Haigh
Date: 9/30/2017 7:38:00 AM
Thank you Vijay! I don't know when the legend began, but I thought it would make a good subject for a poem. Glad you liked it!
Date: 9/30/2017 5:13:00 AM
Hahaha, the shadow of Huddersfield, never thought I would ever hear those words.. I studied in Sheffield and have a big soft for the city, but Leeds is my second favourite city in Yorks.
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Robert Haigh
Date: 9/30/2017 5:53:00 AM
I live nearer to Huddersfield than Leeds, and visit both quite frequently. My grandmother was born in Sheffield, but it is a city I have not visited very often.
Date: 9/30/2017 4:58:00 AM
I have been to Leeds a few times and ate in a few restaurants, it is a lovely city and very clean. The football teams is also doing well this season, would be nice to see a big club like them back in the Prem.
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Robert Haigh
Date: 9/30/2017 5:05:00 AM
Thank you, Silent One! Yes, I love Leeds as a city. Great place to shop and to eat! Great architecture too. It would be good to see Leeds back in the Premiership - living in the shadow of Huddersfield Town at the moment (much to the delight of many of my friends, who are town fans! I am definitely a Leeds man!) - Thanks for reading and commenting!
Date: 9/30/2017 4:46:00 AM
Interesting and enjoyable poem to read Robert! Thanks for sharing :)
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Robert Haigh
Date: 9/30/2017 4:49:00 AM
Thank you Heidi!
Date: 9/30/2017 4:14:00 AM
Great legend. I know little of Leeds except that once they had a great football team. However this is about the lions and I loved reading this legend.
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Robert Haigh
Date: 9/30/2017 4:19:00 AM
Thank you Victor! Yes, Leeds did once have a great football team - I used to go watch them play! I haven't been to see them for a few years.