East West Rail – How Dare You?

Ah God! to see the branches stir
Across the moon at Grantchester!
To smell the thrilling-sweet and rotten
Unforgettable, unforgotten
River-smell, and hear the breeze
Sobbing in the little trees.
Say, do the elm-clumps greatly stand
Still guardians of that holy land?
The chestnuts shade, in reverend dream,
The yet unacademic stream?
Is dawn a secret shy and cold
Anadyomene, silver-gold?
And sunset still a golden sea
From Haslingfield to Madingley?
And after, ere the night is born,
Do hares come out about the corn?
Oh, is the water sweet and cool,
Gentle and brown, above the pool?
And laughs the immortal river still
Under the mill, under the mill?
Say, is there Beauty yet to find?
And Certainty? and Quiet kind?
Deep meadows yet, for to forget
The lies, and truths, and pain? . . . oh! yet
Stands the Church clock at ten to three?
And is there honey still for tea?

taken from “The Old Vicarage, Grantchester” by Rupert Brooke
written in the Cafe des Westens, Berlin, May 1912.

3 replies on “East West Rail – How Dare You?”

“And folks in Shelford and those parts
Have twisted lips and twisted hearts”,

but we are nevertheless very grateful to you for all your work on EWR.

The Great Wall of Cambridge – I think of:

“All Along the Watchtower” Bob Dylan (Jimi Hendrix version!)

There must be some way out of here
Said the joker to the thief
There’s too much confusion
I can’t get no relief
Businessmen, they drink my wine
Plowmen dig my earth
None of them along the line
Know what any of it is worth …

Nothing perhaps
Is what it is. Evil walks up and down,
Prince of this world, emptying the future’s paps.
What drains the mind will soon empty the town.
The smiling earth now shrivels to a frown.

C H Sisson “Turf”

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