Yes, I know I said I would post another of Wayne Myers' poems today - but I woke this morning just before 6 and lay in bed listening to the dawn chorus.

The words of of Robert Browning's poem, that I learnt at school about 60 years ago, came into my head and, as it is supposed to be Spring (but not yet fully here), I thought I would share it with you.

Browning left England and lived for many years in Italy, where he died in Venice in 1889.

It is generally thought that he wrote this poem there when he was homesick, but cynics say he was, in fact, here in England and he was just using poetic licence.



O, to be in England
Now that April 's there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
In England—now!
And after April, when May follows,
And the whitethroat builds, and all the swallows!
Hark, where my blossom'd pear-tree in the hedge
Leans to the field and scatters on the clover
Blossoms and dewdrops—at the bent spray's edge—
That 's the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over,
Lest you should think he never could recapture
The first fine careless rapture!
And though the fields look rough with hoary dew,
All will be gay when noontide wakes anew
The buttercups, the little children's dower
—Far brighter than this gaudy melon-flower!

Robert Browning


Browning is buried in Poets' Corner, Wesminster Abbey and his memorial stone is made of Italian marble.

His wife, Elizabeth Barrett Browning had died in 1861 and Browning wanted to be buried alongside her in the English cemetery in Florence.

However, by the time of his death, the city authorities were no longer allowing new burials.