Friday, 28 March 2008


This is the River Orcia - we walked here from the Abbey of Sant'Antimo near Montepulciano where we were staying . . .

Tuesday, 4 March 2008


We're away for a while. But to be going on with, here's some de Tabley . . . Well this exercise is partly just about what interests or intrigues me. George Leicester Augustus Warren Lord de Tabley is not a name on everyone’s lips but he has his moments. Remarkable ones, such as this botanical frenzy – he was a keen botanist.

But in the ripening slips and tangles
Of cork-woods, in the bull-rush pits where oxen
Lie soaking chin-deep:
In the mulberry orchard
With milky kexes and marrowy hemlocks,
Among the floating silken under-darnels.
He is a god, this Pan
Content to dwell among us, nor disdains
The damp hot wood-smell.
He loves the flakey pine-boles sandbrown;
And, when the first few crisping leaf-falls herald
The year at wasting, he feels then ivies
Against the seamy beech-sides
Push up their stem-feet,
And broaden downwards, rounded budward
Into their orbed tops of mealy white-green.
Pan too will watch in the open glaring
Shadeless quarry quiet locusts
Seething in the blaze on vine-leaves.
He will hear the sour sharp yelping
Of the dog-troop on the sea-marge