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Home-thoughts, from Abroad: Robert Browning

O, TO be in England
Now that April 's there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
In England—now!
And after April, when May follows,
And the whitethroat builds, and all the swallows!
Hark, where my blossom'd pear-tree in the hedge
Leans to the field and scatters on the clover
Blossoms and dewdrops—at the bent spray's edge—
That 's the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over,
Lest you should think he never could recapture
The first fine careless rapture!
And though the fields look rough with hoary dew,
All will be gay when noontide wakes anew
The buttercups, the little children's dower
—Far brighter than this gaudy melon-flower!

Some of the best attractions......

Exhibition: Sensational Butterflies at the Natural History Museum until 15 September 2013

Exhibition: Toy Stories, York Castle Museum until December 31 2013

Exhibition: Magical Books: from the Middle Ages to Middle-earth, Bodleian Library, Oxford, until October 27, 2013

Exhibition: The Discovery of Paris: Watercolours by Early Nineteenth-Century British Artists, The Wallace Collection, London, until September 15, 2013

Historic House: Wentworth Place. " see if this will assist in dismissing you from my mind for ever so short a time. Upon my soul, I can think of nothing else. ... I cannot exist without you. I am forgetful of everything but seeing you again my life seems to stop there I see no further. You have absorb'd me." So wrote Keats to the love of his life, Fanny Brawne, in 1819, his neighbour at Wentworth Place.
Thomas Pink: Perfect Gifts For Holiday