"Home Thoughts from Abroad" by Robert Browning
Updated: Apr 3, 2021
The River Tamar is a boundary between the English counties of Cornwall and Devon. I lived less than a mile from Horsebridge on the Cornish side, where people joked about having passports to cross over the border.
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 white-throat builds, and all the swallows!
Hark, where my blossom’d 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 re-capture
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!