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March 23, 2013 / viewsfromasmallisland

Oh to be in England now that spring is here (with apologies to Robert Browning)

wood in the snow  a


If you live outside the UK and ever wondered what spring looked like in England , here it is.  We are plunged back into winter for a few days, with heavy snow and sub-zero temperatures, just as we were getting excited about spring.  It looks pretty but it’s ****** cold.   I hope the end of the winter weather comes very soon and I can start posting some photos of spring.   It really will be wonderful when it arrives, honestly.

To avoid receiving lots of comments about my mangling of Robert Browning’s poem I have provided it in full below for those who may be interested.  It also reassures me it will all be okay soon.


    Oh, 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
    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!
    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
    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!



Leave a Comment
  1. disperser / Mar 23 2013 9:10 pm

    I’m looking at a blizzard outside my window . . . so, spring’s gonna be a tad late here as well.

  2. Bubbly Tee / Mar 23 2013 9:33 pm

    I think the snow is beautiful but I think I couldnt pass on my beautiful 80 degree weather today. I found more blossoms in my yard …but I look forward to seeing the ones from your area once Spring does arrive.

    Your picture is truly marvelous. 🙂

  3. Jawahar / Mar 23 2013 11:18 pm

    What freezings I have felt, what dark days seen,
    What old December’s bareness everywhere!

    Shakespeare sums the weather of today perfectly..

    • Marian Morgan / Jan 3 2014 6:58 am

      Not Shakespeare. Robert Browning.

      • viewsfromasmallisland / Jan 3 2014 1:08 pm

        Jawahar is making a separate reference. His quote is from a Shakespeare sonnet.

      • Jawahar / Jan 4 2014 2:28 pm

        I meant my quote which is from Shakespeare’s 97th sonnet

  4. kiwiskan / Mar 24 2013 2:52 am

    A lovely poem – but note it says ‘now that APRIL’s here… It’s not April yet. Hope it improves soon 🙂

  5. Gallivanta / Mar 24 2013 2:56 am

    Thanks for posting RB’s poem. Haven’ t read it in ages. It is reassuring.

  6. colorfulifeblogger / Mar 25 2013 6:34 am

    ‘Am really feeling sorry for you 🙂 May spring visit you soon…
    And meanwhile you can see some colors of spring from my blog. We are actually suffering from pollen allergy right now..

    • viewsfromasmallisland / Mar 25 2013 8:55 am

      Thank you. Your blog is full of colour. It has been a very long and cold winter and we are all desperate for spring to come. It also follows the wettest summer and autumn on record. So, we have had grey skies for months and months. It will all be better very soon.

  7. Sallyann / Mar 26 2013 3:03 pm

    We seem to be being teased with blossom buds on the trees and daffodils almost open, I can’t remember the last time I was actually wishing for rain .. at least it would be warmer. 🙂

  8. cottageonstrawberry / Apr 4 2013 8:50 am

    Beautiful post, thank you. Missing England so much especially when I see lovely photos and read everyones comments. Oh! That it would snow where I am. Such a ‘pretty’ poem.

    • viewsfromasmallisland / Apr 4 2013 9:16 am

      Thank you. I’m not sure about the snow though. It’s been a very long, hard winter and I’m desperate for spring to arrive.

      • cottageonstrawberry / Apr 4 2013 9:21 am

        I can understand. Looking so perfect in a photo is a totally different thing to ‘living’ it.
        Praying that relief is on its way for all who are struggling because of the weather conditions.

      • viewsfromasmallisland / Apr 4 2013 9:31 am

        Thank you. The long winter (the coldest for fifty years) has had a serious impact on wildlife and many who earn their living on the land. It seems to be slowly improving now so we are getting excited about spring.

  9. beluga53 / Apr 8 2013 1:39 am

    I like your post (in its entirety) although from your comments I believe you are referring to the Upper Midwestern U.S. (Madison, Wisconsin to be precise) where you have very closely described our weather this spring.

    • viewsfromasmallisland / Apr 8 2013 8:40 am

      Thank you. I know it’s been a long winter for many. Here, finally, it seems to be over.

  10. mexcelia / Jun 1 2013 4:10 pm

    Love Browning, and kudos to you for the reference. And, I will recommend a poem to you by Robert Frost called “Birches.” Think you might like the imagery (I liked it so much I had the title tattooed on my inner arm). Enjoying the pics and glad to have found your blog!

    • viewsfromasmallisland / Jun 1 2013 5:57 pm

      Thank you very much for your kind words. You must love the poem very much to have it tattooed on the inner arm. I also love birch trees. Much overlooked and taken for granted but beautiful. I posted about my love of birch trees earlier in the year.

      • mexcelia / Jun 1 2013 6:09 pm

        I will go through your posts and look for it, thanks!

  11. 'CC' Richards / Jul 26 2013 5:30 pm

    Loved studying Browning at highschool, read to us by our Scottish English Lit teacher! The creepy ‘Porphyria’s Lover’ made a huge impact.

  12. daniheart21 / Nov 12 2013 5:11 pm


  13. sabuloustempest / Nov 24 2013 4:45 pm

    Though the snow is beautiful, we have very little of it in Texas. I am glad, though. The poem was lovely. I guess you appreciate warm weather more when you are stuck in snow. It is 36 degrees now, but still green in places.

    • viewsfromasmallisland / Nov 24 2013 7:55 pm

      Yes, we do appreciate the warm weather very much when we see it. Though the weather in the UK is okay, never really too hot and never really too cold and we get quite a bit of rain. And of course, that’s what makes the UK so green. We can’t have everything.

  14. Russ L / Dec 29 2013 2:23 pm

    I love the poem and your pics. May your Spring come early! 🙂

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