Friday, 1 April 2016

Oh to be in England

Anyone who grew up in England and isn't in England on the first of April might well catch themselves uttering the first line of one of one of the best known poems of Robert Browning (1812 - 1889).
If you want to impress the people around you, maybe sipping a Prosecco in the sun, you might try and reel off the whole of the first verse. I usually get stuck around the bit about a brushwood sheaf and an elm tree bole, especially if asked to translate it on the spur of the moment. So here it is, in all it's glory and if you try and learn it off by heart, 'they' say it's good for you.

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!

Today I saw a pair of chaffinches and  orchard bough, not sure about an elm tree bole, but I did see lots of tiny bright green new leaves, cherry blossom, hawthorn, magnolia blossom, forsythia, japonica and a whole lot of other signs that clearly say Spring is here.
Magnolia blossom

Male swan on patrol

It takes two , one to sit on the eggs and one to keep watch

California Dreaming, a California cedar



  1. What a lovely welcome to the spring. I haven't seen that poem for years, but yes, I too get nostalgic for England in spring. I grew up in London and just loved the cherry blossoms in the beautiful old crescents near Regents Park (I think). I also miss spring in the country. It is lovely here in Holland too, but I sometimes yearn for the English country cottages and their pretty gardens.

  2. Thanks for this post, reminded me of when we were in London 4 years ago (April) although I'd love to be there in May once and see the blue bells! Those black swans look amazing!! Almost photoshopped!