TWO reveries to mark the end of September; the first by Helen B Cruickshank, the second by Edward Thomas.


Russet bracken, a spider spinning,
White tails bobbing in burrows of sand;
A finch is feeding on silver thistle,
A late bee settles upon my hand.

Still are the woods in the heat of the autumn,
Fearless the rabbits, so still I lie
Happy to see the spider spinning,
While dreams like down go floating by.

A golden leaf from a yellowing birch-tree
Softly falls on the spider’s thread;
The silken line on the frond is broken
The coloured finch from the thistle fled.

Stiffly I rise from the bracken covert,
The rabbits scuttle in panic flight;
The golden moment I held is over,
The air gone chill, and the sun less bright.

The cares of living come back in legions,
The glamour is gone from the autumn wood,
So frail a thread as a sider’s spinning
Can carry a dream, or enchant a mood.


Some day, I think, there will be people enough
In Foxfield to pick all the blackberries
Out of the hedges of green Lane, the straight
Broad lane where now September hides herself
In bracken and blackberry, harebell and dwarf gorse.
Today, where yesterday a hundred sheep
Were nibbling, halcyon bells shake the spray
Of waters that no vessel ever
sailed …
It is a kind of spring: the chaffinch tries
His song. For heat it is like summer too.
This might be winter’s quiet. While the glint
Of hollies dark in the swollen hedges lasts -
One mile – and those bells ring, little I know
Or heed if time be still the same, until
The lane ends and once more all is the same.