A Surrey Night

Through bare black oak-boughs spread afar
I watch a sickle moon
Follow a large and lonely star
Beyond the low South Down.

The thin light films a wider sky
Than I have lived beneath;
The trees ebb out more distantly,
Past delicate wild heath.

But when the moonlight is so clear,
And the sharp night so still,
My thoughts will never settle here
Upon this gentle hill;

For when the moonlight is so pale
Above dark fields and woods,
I only see my Northern vale
And its steep solitudes;

The hard, lean fells against the night,
Between the darker trees;
The high and distant farm-house light;
The village stillnesses.

I hear the larch-wood brook draw near,
Lapper and lull and leap,
In far-off night, that I would hear
Before I go to sleep.


~ Author: Gordon Bottomley, 1917.
٭ Painting by Brenda Clarke, license: CC BY 3.0.


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