Edward Thomas (1878-1917)
AdlestropYes. I remember Adlestrop— 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 Adlestrop—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, and round him, mistier, Farther and farther, all the birds Of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.
AdistropD’you think I forgot about Adistrop? Not a bit of it! what? It was half-past two and it was hot, Almost July, and unusually My rapid train was brought to a stop. Sibilant vapour. Throaty cough. Nobody got on or off. Anybody on platform? Not. All I saw was a big signboard Saying ‘Adistrop’: just that word, And willows and grass and a plant too spry, Pink, and a fragrant ulmaria (? try ‘Wool of Mary’?) and haycocks, dry, Still and sightly as clouds on high, Solitary, stuck in a sunny sky; And a blackbird singing, but not for long, Not far off; all around, birdsong, From distant, hazily vaporous Avian byways of Oxon and Glos.
Translation: Copyright © Timothy Adès