A Spring Poem from Robert Browning
Home Thoughts from Abroad
Oh, to be in England
Now that April's there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
In England – now!
And after April, when May follows,
And the whitethroat builds, and all the swallows!
Hark, where my blossomed pear-tree in the hedge
Leans to the field and scatters on the clover
Blossoms and dewdrops – at the bent spray’s edge –
That’s the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over,
Lest you should think he never could recapture
The first fine careless rapture!
And though the fields look rough with hoary dew,
All will be gay when noontide wakes anew
The buttercups, the little children's dower
– Far brighter than this gaudy melon-flower!
From Canto LXXX
Oh to be in England now that Winston’s out
Now that there’s room for doubt
And the bank may be the nation’s
And the long years of patience
And labour’s vacillations
May have let the bacon come home,
To watch how they’ll slip and slide
watch how they’ll try to hide
the real portent
To watch a while from the tower
where dead flies lie thick over the old charter
forgotten, oh quite forgotten
but confirming John’s first one,
and still there if you climb over attic rafters;
to look at the fields; are they tilled?
is the old terrace alive as it might be
with a whole colony
if money be free again?
Chesterton’s England of has-been and why-not,
or is it all rust, ruin, death duties and mortgages
and the great carriage yard empty
and more pictures gone to pay taxes