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)
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some opportunities for the solitudes he sought, though I think he would have been less pleased if he had seen what had superseded the railway.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.
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.