On Saturday we got up early and flew out the house, via take out coffees (with a dollop of caramel melted in for me), and zoomed to the Quontocks. This mystical, awkward named place that Charlie had cycled within weeks ago. Of course it was a countryside haven. I could see Charlie breathe deeply and his eyes light up with the outdoor, wild possibilities. We went for a walk in the hills, walked through the ‘Great Wood’ and across fields aplenty, past houses with steam flowing from their chimneys and long haired sheep.
I found out that Samuel Coleridge had lived in the village at the bottom of the hills we explored. I remember studying the poet years ago, and particularly a poem named, The Nightingale. I imagine these are the sounds and the feel of the Quontocks – definitely of nature, ‘A pleasure in the dimness of the stars’ – at night.
Here’s an extract.
No cloud, no relique of the sunken day
Distinguishes the West, no long thin slip
Of sullen light, no obscure trembling hues.
Come, we will rest on this old mossy bridge!
You see the glimmer of the stream beneath,
But hear no murmuring: it flows silently.
O’er its soft bed of verdure. All is still.
A balmy night! and though the stars be dim,
Yet let us think upon the vernal showers
That gladden the green earth, and we shall find
A pleasure in the dimness of the stars.
And hark! the Nightingale begins its song,
‘Most musical, most melancholy’ bird!
A melancholy bird? Oh! idle thought!
In Nature there is nothing melancholy.