Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee,
Whether summer clothe the general earth
With greeness, or the redbreast sit and sing
Betwixt the tufts of snow on the bare branch
Of mossy apple-tree, while the nigh thatch
Smokes in the sun-thaw; whether the eave-drops fall
Heard only in the trances of the blast,
Or if the secret ministry of frost
Shall hang them up in silent icicles,
Quietly shining to the quiet Moon.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Shepherd's Calendar - April

Along each hedge and sprouting bush
   The singing birds are blest,
And linnet green and speckled thrush
   Prepare their mossy nest;
On the warm bed thy plains supply,
   The young lambs find repose,
And ’mid thy green hills basking lie
   Like spots of ling’ring snows.                                     

Thy open’d leaves and ripen’d buds
   The cuckoo makes his choice,
And shepherds in thy greening woods
   First hear his cheering voice:
And to thy ripen’d blooming bowers
   The nightingale belongs;
And, singing to thy parting hours,
   Keeps night awake with songs!

With thee the swallow dares to come,
   And cool his sultry wing;                                           
And, urged to seek his yearly home,
               Thy suns the martin bring.

There are several excerpts from John Clare's lovely poem ' The Shepherd's Calendar ' on my blog but there are still several months missing so here is another one for the collection. The photographs were taken in the last couple of days, the bluebell one isn't very good but it shows how wonderful they are this year. Gillfield Wood is only a short distance from where I live but not many people go there as the big draw locally for bluebells is Ecclesall Woods. A great many people locally don't even know that Gillfield Wood exists but the bluebells are actually even better here I think. They aren't quite in full bloom yet but in another few days they will be fantastic. Already their scent is drifting through the woodland accompanied by the the singing of the birds and the bleating of the lambs in the fields that run along the edges - it's a beautiful place to walk in the springtime.


Cheryl said...

Beautiful images.....sweet lambs and bluebells always take my breath away.

I heard the cuckoo last week and a sky lark yesterday......and yes the swallows are back. Perhaps summer is here :)

Ruthie Redden said...

Isn't there is something delicious about catching the first scent of the bluebells as they come into bloom, I noticed it yesterday as I stood at the edge of the wood.

Dartford Warbler said...

A perfect poem for these welcome spring days!

Your bluebells must be wonderful. Even our sprinkling in the garden and hedgerows smell lovely.

Roy Norris said...

Lovely words by John Clare and very apt as is all of his poetry. Thanks D.

Mac n' Janet said...

One of the best parts of visiting England in the spring is being able to walk through woods full of bluebells.
We tried to walk here this morning before the big storms hit, got soaked, I got scared of the thunder and lightning so we came home after only about a 1/2 mile. Hope you're having better weather.

Sheila da Silva said...

Lovely Spring post Rowan. Bluebells are my favourite wild flowers, and I remember the scent vividly. The lambs are beautiful, always so sweet and playful.

Louise said...

Lovely words and photos. I haven't heard of these woods but I haven't visited a bluebell wood yet and I'll be over that way at the weekend so I might pop in to Gillfield!

Roses, Lace and Brocante said...

I'm sure I've told you before Rowan how I dream of one day being in England in April. It's at the top of my 'bucket list' to see the sheets of bluebells in the woodland!
Gorgeous photos even the mother sheep and lambs look pristine!

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

I've love to see the bluebells - such a pretty color amongst the green.