by Edward Thomas
Yes. I remember Adelstrop—
The name, because one afternoon
Of heat the express-train drew up there
Unwontedly. It was late June.
The steam hissed. Someone cleared his throat.
No one left. And no one came
On the bare platform. What I saw
Was Adelstrop—only the name.
And willows, willow-herb, and grass,
And meadowsweet, and haycocks dry,
No whit less still and lonely fair
Than the high cloudlets in the sky.
And for that minute a blackbird sang
Close by, around him, and mistier
Farther and farther, all the birds
Of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.
In June, 1914, the train of Edward Thomas pulled up at a small, quintessentially English rural railway station, and the first thing that caught his eye was the name, Adelstrop. He stopped, and began to listen to the sounds of the English countryside around him. Bird song, somnambulant buzzing of bees, a gentle rustling of a warm summer sigh through the trees, the smell of hay, grass, & willow-herb. He had found himself in the soft, warm heart of pastoral England. Transported through an invisible doorway into a paradise on earth within whose forgiving bosom he now lay his soul to rest a while. Everything sprang into his senses so clear and alive, like a violent charge of lightning, that he not so much watched, as sensed the pleasures surrounding him. He bathed his soaring spirit in a fresh, clear spring of new wonders……….Adelstrop.