Dog-roses : trifles – foolish things

Blogging-time limited this weekend, I’m afraid.  Amongst other things I’m off to see my first 20/20 match this afternoon.  Will I have some Damascene moment at Grace Road?  Will the scales fall from my eyes?  We shall see.  Perhaps I shall see. 

That being so, I shall have to summon the aid of one of my familiars – John Clare.  Perhaps this is only in my imagination, but we do seem to have a wonderful crop of wild flowers this year, particularly dog-roses.  I walked down the Brampton Valley Way last Sunday and snapped a few, like so – (white in honour of Yorkshire, our opponents this afternoon, though their white rose is, I think, a cultivated one) 

Northamptonshire Dog-Roses


The dog-rose makes many appearances in the poetry of Clare, but here I’ve opted for a selection from The Village Minstrel.  Clare dreaded the arrival of the railway in Northamptonshire ; I mourn its passing.  He might have been pleased to see the old railway track turned into a footpath, with some opportunities for the solitudes he sought, though I think he would have been less pleased if he had seen what had superseded the railway.  Perhaps one day the A14 (or whatever it’s called) will have returned to nature too, and our descendents will stroll along it of a Sunday afternoon, admiring the dog roses. 


O SIMPLE Nature, how I do delight
To pause upon thy trifles -foolish things,
As some would call them. -On the summer night,
Tracing the lane-path where the dog-rose hings
With dew-drops seeth’d, while chick’ring cricket sings;
My eye can’t help but glance upon its leaves,
Where love’s warm beauty steals her sweetest blush,
When, soft the while, the Even silent heaves
Her pausing breath just trembling thro’ the bush,
And then again dies calm, and all is hush.
O how I feel, just as I pluck the flower
And stick it to my breast -words can’t reveal;
But there are souls that in this lovely hour
Know all I mean, and feel whate’er I feel.



3 thoughts on “Dog-roses : trifles – foolish things

  1. I love John Clare and I too have noticed the wild roses this year. What a joy. And I hope you enjoyed the match.

    On a completely nother topic, may I pick your brains on a matter of cataloguing? If you were filing a big boxful of guide books, what might be the most sensible way of ordering them – by county, by area, by property – I can’t decide. Any expert ideas?

  2. Thoroughly enjoyed the match, thank you. A very enjoyable afternoon.

    I don’t know how useful this is, but, if you were classifying them by the Dewey Decimal system, you would arrange them by type of building (stately home, domestic house, church etc.) and then by county and then – if you wished – by area or town within that.

    I’d guess that, if the guides you have are generally to the same types of property, but cover a large number of counties it might be better to arrange them by the county in the first instance.

    The way they’re arranged in libraries tends to vary according to the type of library, and the size of the collection within a particular subject area – you’d probably have a different arrangement in a specialist architectural library to the one you’d use in a public library, for instance.

    Hope this is of some use!

  3. Thanks, that is a big help. It’s actually just my own unwieldy collection but I often want to refer to guide books again, (and I’m a bit of a cataloguing geek) so I want to organise them rationally, in order I don’t spend half an hour trying to find a reference to St. Dachshunds in Dunny-on-the-Wold.

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