I have always loved the words of William Barnes’s lyrical poem ‘Linden Lea’, as set to music by Ralph Vaughan Williams. Listening to its evocative strains one day, and utilising the same verse form and metrical pattern per line, I composed the following poem, drawing upon the happy memories of many childhood walks of mine through the woodlands just a Sunday afternoon’s drive away from home.
REMEMBERING THE WOODLANDS
Deep in the woodlands, sunlight filters
Through the golden leaves and flowers.
And boughs curve softly, crowned with blossom,
O’er green ferns and shadowed bowers.
Small warblers lilt in dulcet song,
As celandines in bouquets throng,
Through dappled glades and sunlit pathways,
Past blue streams and fountains clear.
Sun-shadows mottle gnarled trees arching
O’er the leafy ground of gold.
And tiny daisies wake up slowly
As their petals pink unfold.
Here snowy clouds float through the sky,
While turquoise swallows circle by,
As morningtime transforms to noontide.
Now the afternoon is here.
Though days like these soon fade and vanish
In the misty realms of Space,
With only fragments of their wonder
Passing o’er my silent face,
Yet still I live in those fair days,
In Summer’s warm and blissful haze.
And as I sit, a dewdrop glistens –
Is it dew, or one lone tear?