It faces west, and round the back and sides High beeches, bending, hang a veil of boughs, And sweep against the roof. Wild honeysucks Climb on the walls, and seem to sprout a wish (If we may fancy wish of trees and plants) To overtop the apple trees hard-by.
Red roses, lilacs, variegated box Are there in plenty, and such hardy flowers As flourish best untrained. Adjoining these Are herbs and esculents; and farther still A field; then cottages with trees, and last The distant hills and sky.
Behind, the scene is wilder. Heath and furze Are everything that seems to grow and thrive Upon the uneven ground. A stunted thorn Stands here and there, indeed; and from a pit An oak uprises, Springing from a seed Dropped by some bird a hundred years ago.
In days bygone-- Long gone--my father's mother, who is now Blest with the blest, would take me out to walk. At such a time I once inquired of her How looked the spot when first she settled here. The answer I remember. 'Fifty years Have passed since then, my child, and change has marked The face of all things. Yonder garden-plots And orchards were uncultivated slopes O'ergrown with bramble bushes, furze and thorn: That road a narrow path shut in by ferns, Which, almost trees, obscured the passers-by.
Our house stood quite alone, and those tall firs And beeches were not planted. Snakes and efts Swarmed in the summer days, and nightly bats Would fly about our bedrooms. Heathcroppers Lived on the hills, and were our only friends; So wild it was when we first settled here.'