down the lane
March 16, 2012
Down a lane at the back of Northiam, the beech woods are still asleep . . . .
. . . signs of spring awakening shows on the lower shrubs and herb layer – catkins on the hazel . . .
. . . some, but not a great deal, of interest in being photographed!
This isn’t Bob’s Lane but Ewhurst Lane – a hurst being a wood. The sheep are, of course, also a clue.
Women he liked, did shovel-bearded Bob,
Old Farmer Hayward of the Heath, but he
Loved horses. He himself was like a cob
And leather-coloured. Also he loved a tree.
For the life in them he loved most living things,
But a tree chiefly. All along the lane
He planted elms where now the stormcock sings
That travellers hear from the slow-climbing train.
Till then the track had never had a name
For all its thicket and the nightingales
That should have earned it. No one was to blame
To name a thing beloved man sometimes fails.
Many years since, Bob Hayward died, and now
None passes there because the mist and the rain
Out of the elms have turned the lane to slough
And gloom, the name alone survives, Bob’s Lane. Edward Thomas Bob’s Lane