byojaku, goldcrest, Higher Bockhampton, Julian Fellowes, Lower Bockhampton, Melstock, Puddletown Heath, Rosemarie Morgan, Rushy Pond, swallet hole, Thomas Hardy, Under the Greenwood Tree, witches' broom fungus, Yale
Thank goodness for the hat -see gravatar. That Aussie sun is fierce.
Two weeks into this holiday and I have lost my fashionable byojaku
face, though I wouldn’t say that I was a fully-formed Sheila just
I see that there is an outcry regarding development in Lower
Bockhampton (Hardy’s Melstock). Professor Rosemarie Morgan
of Yale has joined forces with Julian Fellowes (not Thomas Hardy)
and others opposed to the building of seventy homes under the
greenwood trees by an agricultural college. That blasted madding
crowd encroaches everywhere.
Anyway, in case urbanisation obliterates an even greater area,
here’s an old tribute to Higher Bockhampton:
Where bright goldcrests dip over Rushy Pond,
speckled fawns lie, peaceful, in swallet holes,
cushioned on russet-needled floor. Beyond
lies Puddletown Heath, but here thick beech boles,
sweet chestnut, laurel and hazel copses
shelter grass snakes, which coil in leafy shade,
where Hardy coppiced verse; plot synopses.
Witches’ broom fungus found on some decayed
branches illustrated family trees:
supernatural blight in Paradise,
which brought his fruitless marriage to its knees.
Through opened casements he would watch fireflies,
straining to see some glimmer in the pitch
dark of the cottage garden. Then he wrote
of class difference between poor and rich;
his real words of complaint choking his throat.