They shut…….

They shut the road through the woods
Seventy years ago.
Weather and rain have undone it again,
And now you would never know
There was once a road through the woods
Before they planted the trees.

It is underneath the coppice and heath,
And the thin anemones.
Only the keeper sees
That, where the ring dove broods,
And the badgers roll at ease,
There was once a road through the woods.

Yet, if you enter the woods
Of a summer evening late,
When the night-air cools on the trout-ringed pools
Where the otter whistles his mate,
(They fear not men in the woods,
Because they see so few.)
You will hear the beat of a horse’s feet,
And the swish of a skirt in the dew,
Steadily cantering through
The misty solitudes,
As though they perfectly knew
The old lost road through the woods…
But there is no road through the woods.


As Europe goes back into lock down for everybody except for front line workers ( which now includes school teachers as well as health workers!), maybe Rudyard Kipling’s famous poem should be adapted to –

“they shut the road to the city

Seventy years ago …..“


15 thoughts on “They shut…….

  1. tanjabrittonwriter says:

    Other than your comparison to the current situation, what came to my mind while reading this lovely poem was nature’s ability to reclaim what was once wrested from it, and that is a good thing to be reminded of.
    But I hope you will do ok on the road that lies ahead of you.
    Best wishes,

    Liked by 2 people

  2. caitlynnegrace says:

    Beautiful picture and beautiful poem, thank you for sharing it. ‘If’ was all I knew of Rudyard Kipling before this.
    My heart sees hope in Kipling’s lines. That one day, we will find those beautiful old roads along which hope and love and beauty reside.

    Liked by 1 person

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