Friday, 24 October 2008

Poetry . . .

A poem to enjoy over the weekend . . . and a view from the top of Hay Bluff. John Haines, a Gloucester solicitor, was a cousin of Catherine Abercrombie's, was a botanist and a poet, and had a link to the Dymock poets, though he was not strictly one of their number. He became a close friend of Robert Frost and they corresponded for many many years after the latter's return to America. Haines spoke of the short time that Dymock was the centre of the poetical universe thus: "it remains the most beautiful experience in a life which has been more than ordinarily blessed in that way."

The High Road - John Haines

The little roads are quaint roads
That wander where they will,
They wind their arms round all the farms
And flirt with every hill,
But the high-road is my road
And goes where I would go,
Its way it wends as man intends,
For it was fashioned so.

The little roads are shy roads
And care not to be seen,
'Twixt hedges hid they wind amid
A labyrinth of green,
But the high-roads are bold roads
And stare one in the face,
With banners white in all men's sight
The land they proudly pace.

The little roads are faint roads
And fear to walk alone,
They like the looks of friendly brooks
And cots of country stone,
But the high-roads are proud roads
And lord it like the King,
They stride the dale the hillsto scale,
O'er wasting rivers they prevail,
Nor yield to anything.

To all the little roads I know
Delightful haunts belong -
In hidden state lurks Stanway gate
The Stanway woods among,
The river walk between the Colnes
From Fosseway lies apart,
While Slaughter seems amid its streams
To dwell in willow-pattern dreams
Dreamt by a childish heart.

But give me on an autumn day
That lordly road to trace
From Charlton Hill to Baunton Mill
And Ciceter market place,
Or back, the way the Romans came
Above a folded world
To Birdlip steep, where in a leap
The road doth to that valley sweep
Where Severn lies unfurled.

The little roads are warm roads
And fine to house within;
They grow great trees, escape the breeze
And nurse the homely inn;
The high-roads are dry roads
For many a thirsty mile,
But their wind and rain I will face again
As I have done many a while.

View across the peaceful Gloucestershire fields.


nita x said...

jennie that is a lovely poem, and the view across the gloucestershire fields is heavenly :)

A Bite of Country Cupcakes said...

Gloucestershire fields...Oh yeah,just my thing! Lovely
The poetry too

Mam said...

Chills up my spine! Beautiful poetry and beautiful land!

thelma said...

Beautiful, up by my bit of the Gloucester escarpment are three Iron Age hillfort Old Sodbury, enormous, with 'romanised' banks, Horton, and Dyrham or Hinton, the site of the famous battle. wrote about it somewhere though....

aromatic said...

What a lovely poem. The views spectacular!! So much beauty to be seen.... so many places to go and see but will never get there for whatever reason, but looking at pictures like these most certainly makes up for that!!
Thanks for sharing them....
Jane aka:aromatic xxx

Cheryl said...

Tku for dropping by my blog.......the poem is absolutely mothers loves the written word I shall show her when she comes tomorrow.....

I shall visit again......

Nan said...

I'm sorry to say I have never heard of him, so I thank you for the really nice poem, and your great photos. Oh, to live in England. We stayed a week in Forthampton - do you know it?

Goosey said...

Is that the road they drive along at the start of antiques Roadshow? It looks a bit like it. Anyway, its a very nice picture, thank you!

elizabethm said...

Fabulous photo! hope you enjoyed your weekend.