Home  »  The Oxford Book of English Verse  »  729. Home-thoughts, from Abroad

Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. 1919. The Oxford Book of English Verse: 1250–1900.

Robert Browning. 1812–1889

729. Home-thoughts, from Abroad

O, TO be in England 
Now that April ‘s there, 
And whoever wakes in England 
Sees, some morning, unaware, 
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf         5
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf, 
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough 
In England—now! 
And after April, when May follows, 
And the whitethroat builds, and all the swallows!  10
Hark, where my blossom’d pear-tree in the hedge 
Leans to the field and scatters on the clover 
Blossoms and dewdrops—at the bent spray’s edge— 
That ‘s the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over, 
Lest you should think he never could recapture  15
The first fine careless rapture! 
And though the fields look rough with hoary dew, 
All will be gay when noontide wakes anew 
The buttercups, the little children’s dower 
—Far brighter than this gaudy melon-flower!  20