Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Return, return to Ealing

I have previously found two poetic references to the place I live, Perivale from JB but now I have found this. How times have changed!

Return, return to Ealing,
Worn poet of the farm!
Regain your boyhood feeling
Of uninvaded calm!
For there the leafy avenues
Of lime and chestnut mix'd
Do widely wind, by art designed,
The costly houses 'twixt.

No early morning tractors
The thrush and blackbird drown,
No nuclear reactors
Bulge huge below the down,
No youth upon his motor-bike
His lust for power fulfils,
With dentist's drill intent to kill
The silence of the hills.

In Ealing on a Sunday
Bell-haunted quiet falls,I
n Ealing on a Monday
'Milk-o!' the milkman calls;
No lorries grind in bottom gear
Up steep and narrow lanes,
Nor constant here offend the ear
Low-flying aeroplanes.

Return, return to Ealing,
Worn poet of the farm!
Regain your boyhood feeling
Of uninvaded calm!
Where smoothly glides the bicycle
And softly flows the Brent
And a gentle gale from Perivale
Sends up the hayfield scent.

John Betjeman - Lines written to Martyn Skinner before his Departure from Oxfordshire in Search of Quiet {---} 1961

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