By feorlean

LD 215 And thick on Severn snow the leaves

It was stormy last night and in the woodland the ground is now strewn with leaves.

Such a day and sight always puts me in mind of Houseman's "On Wenlock Edge" with its perspective on the shortness of life and the commonality of experience.   It makes me hear the music too  , in Vaghan Williams' strident setting  (though I admit to a preference for Somervell's settings of some of the other poems from the "Shropshire Lad") 

Here is the full thing:

On Wenlock Edge the wood's in trouble; 
      His forest fleece the Wrekin heaves; 
The gale, it plies the saplings double, 
      And thick on Severn snow the leaves. 

'Twould blow like this through holt and hanger 
      When Uricon the city stood: 
'Tis the old wind in the old anger, 
      But then it threshed another wood. 

Then, 'twas before my time, the Roman 
      At yonder heaving hill would stare: 
The blood that warms an English yeoman, 
      The thoughts that hurt him, they were there. 

There, like the wind through woods in riot, 
      Through him the gale of life blew high; 
The tree of man was never quiet: 
      Then 'twas the Roman, now 'tis I. 

The gale, it plies the saplings double, 
      It blows so hard, 'twill soon be gone: 
To-day the Roman and his trouble 
      Are ashes under Uricon.

Sign in or get an account to comment.