Tuesday, December 29, 2009
And yet but lately have I seen, ev'n here,
The winter in a lovely dress appear.
'Ere yet the clouds let fall the treasur'd snow,
Or winds begun through hazy skies to blow,
At ev'ning a keen eastern breeze arose,
And the descending rain unsully'd froze.
Soon as the silent shades of night withdrew,
The ruddy morn disclos'd at once to view
The face of nature in a rich disguise,
And brighten'd ev'ry object to my eyes:
For ev'ry shrub, and ev'ry blade of grass,
And ev'ry pointed thorn, seem'd wrought in glass;
In pearls and rubies rich the hawthorns show,
While through the ice the crimson berries glow.
The thick-sprung reeds, which wat'ry marshes yield,
Seem'd polish'd lances in a hostile field.
The stag in limpid currents, with surprise,
Sees crystal branches on his forehead rise;
The spreading oak, the beech, and tow'ring pine,
Glaz'd over, in the freezing aether shine.
The frighted birds the rattling branches shun,
Which wave and glitter in the distant sun.
When if a sudden gust of wind arise,
The brittle forest into atoms flies,
The crackling wood beneath the tempest bends,
And in a spangled show'r the prospect ends
These lines were written in 1709 by an English politician and poet called Ambrose Philips while he was secretary to the British Envoy to Denmark. The lines seem rather appropriate since we are having a fair amount of ice and snow so far this winter. It's a good many years since we last had snow on the ground at Christmas and there is more to come this afternoon and overnight in the area of England where I live.
I am a little bit in limbo at the moment as my eldest son together with my daughter-in-law and two granddaughters are leaving for South Africa on January 6th. They will be living out there for the time being though fortunately they will be coming back to the UK at least once a year for 5 or 6 weeks and I shall certainly be taking the opportunity to go out to South Africa again. It's a wonderful country to visit and they are handily placed about 20 minutes from one of the gates into Kruger National Park as well as a short drive from the Drakensburg Mountains. Lots of photo opportunities there! Clicking on the word Kruger will take you to a page with some information about one of my favourite places in the world.