The Anathemata

Middle-sea and Lear-sea (continued)

saliva’d the spume

over Mark’s lost hundred.a

Back overb

the drowned tillage of Leonnoys

over the smothered defences

over the hundred and forty mensae drowned

in the un-apsed eglwysau,1 under.

Back to the crag-mound

in the drowned coed


David Jones notes

1 Latin mensae, altars, rhymes with Welsh eglwysau, churches; eg-loois-ei, ei as in height, accent on second syllable .

Cf. the identification of the Leonnoys or Lyonesse of Romance literature with the sea-area beyond Land’s End; and the independent native Cornish tradition of the submergence of a countryside with the loss of one hundred and forty churches in that area.

2 Cf. the disputed theory that an old Cornish compound word meaning ‘the hoar rock in the wood’ is an authentic pre-inundation site-name for the rocky island now called St Michael’s Mount.

coed (koid) wood.

additional notes

b they have been blown back west and so have to make their way east again to get to Mounts Bay (the southern coast of Cornwall between the Lizard and Land’s End). (It turns out that they go too far east, as far as the Dodman.)


semantic structures


a hundred: an old English subdivision of a county, originally being 100 hides, where a hide is enough land to support one family (and therefore varies according to the terrain).