Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Damp Hedgerows, and "The Lane" by Edward Thomas

The Lane

Some day, I think, there will be people enough
In Froxfield to pick all the blackberries
Out of the hedges of Green Lane, the straight
Broad lane where now September hides herself
In bracken and blackberry, harebell and dwarf gorse.
Today, where yesterday a hundred sheep
Were nibbling, halcyon bells shake to the sway
Of waters that no vessel ever sailed.....
It is a kind of spring: the chaffinch tries
His song. For heat it is like summer too.
This might be winter`s quiet. While the glint
Of hollies dark in the swollen hedges lasts-
One mile- and those bells ring, little I know
Or heed if time is still the same, until
The lane ends and once more is the same.

By Edward Thomas (1878 - 1917)

Froxfield is a village in Eastern Hampshire, in the lovely wooded hills ( hangars) of the South Downs near Petersfield. Edward Thomas lived nearby in the hamlet of Steep.

A wet, misty Tuesday morning in late September. The New Forest lanes, like those Hampshire lanes walked by the poet Edward Thomas, were rich with the dark greens of late summer foliage. Dew drenched webs of a thousand spiders spread a ghostly cloak over gorse bushes by the path.

Spiked, lime green "hedgehog" cases of sweet chestnuts have grown this week........

.......and some are dropping to the soaked ground, where they will split and give up their slender chestnuts to squirrels and to mice.

Beech mast droops on a bough of turning leaves.........

......while rose hips ripen, deep shining red in the bracken undergrowth..........

.....and there are blackberries enough for all the people in our village, but few leave their cars behind to gather them. Maybe it is for the best. The hedges and heaths are alive with feeding birds and the nuts and berries grow, Nature`s storecupboard, in ripe and plentiful profusion.


Morning's Minion said...

I enlarged all your photos in this post, the better to absorb them. I remember gathering up beech nuts in my grandfather's woods and patiently opening them to pick out the meats. [They are called beech nuts rather than beech mast here.]
When the beech leaves turned to gold, walking under them was like being bathed in rich warm light even on a grey day.

Bovey Belle said...

Ah, Edward Thomas and Thomas Hardy are my favourite poets, as well you know! I LOVE that poem.

Our blackberries have pretty well gone over here - Autumn has arrived early and pinched them out . . . It was a poor harvest anyway, locally, because of the dry start to the year, then rain when they were ripening which sent them over quickly.

Lovely photos, as always.

Kath said...

Quite delightful! I love the poem and the photos were very inviting. I would like to take that walk with you.

Val said...

Lovely virtual walk ..thank you
It made a perfect picture in my head I could almost small the scent of the woods and feel the damp ..does that sound crackers?

Mr Thomas wrote a lovely poem :0)