ode to the flowering verges
June 12, 2012
I arrived in the village yesterday after a short wet spell in the UK, and rushed out enthusiastically for a stroll around the immediate countryside. Obvious changes in the native flora but, hélas the flowering verges of 10 days ago have been cut – farmers here like it all tidy as understandably, total focus is on the productivity of the vines! Fortunately the verges had been recorded on a previous walk around Autignac and Cabrerolles . . . .
. . iris and a mass of blackberry and something pink and very pretty which I failed to name . . .
. . a few orchids on the edge of a damp ditch and across the path, scabious and cornflowers threaded with vipers bugloss.
A lovely hillock capped with a pair of pines and with paint strokes of yellow broom creeping through the holm oak scrub and, as the light drops behind a pine, a few verses of Keats and his ode.
My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,
Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains
One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk:
‘Tis not through envy of thy happy lot,
But being too happy in thy happiness,—
That thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees,
In some melodious plot
Of beechen green, and shadows numberless,
Singest of summer in full-throated ease.
O for a draught of vintage, that hath been
Cooled a long age in the deep-delved earth,
Tasting of Flora and the country green,
Dance, and Provencal song, and sun-burnt mirth!
O for a beaker full of the warm South,
Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene,
With beaded bubbles winking at the brim,
And purple-stained mouth;
That I might drink, and leave the world unseen,
And with thee fade away into the forest dim: John Keats Ode to A Nightingale