Friday, 15 April 2011
Poor old Robert Browning after marrying his Elizabeth, lived in Italy until her death
in 1861, to keep away from her tyrannical father. Sounds an idyllic place to live - Florence, Venice, warm weather, warm seas, blue skies. But I think we can say with certainty that oh how he missed the coming of the English Spring.
We all know his poem "Home Thoughts from Abroad" - oh to be in England, now that April's there. But I think my favourite poem of his about Spring is Pippa's Song.
The year's at the Spring,
The day's at the morn;
Morning's at seven;
The hill-side's dew-pearl'd;
The lark's on the wing;
The snail's on the thorn;
God's in his heaven -
All's right with the world.
It epitomised for Browning all the things he was missing about his home country.
Now Spring is really here and everything is shouting out "Look at me!" The lovely little black lambs, already eating the grass; the blackthorn - the best blossom on it that the farmer has seen for years; the delicately-scented cowslips, once in short supply but now making a fantastic come-back; Primula wanda, that most common of all the primula family, but the one guaranteed to flower whatever the weather; and - last but not least - just in time for the Royal Wedding - Spirea "Bridal Wreath". What more could anyone wish for? Have a lovely week end.