Legend of the Leeds Lions
Photograph Copyright © Robert Haigh
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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 © Robert Haigh | Year Posted 2017