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Are you looking for Wood this Christmas?
Few people, in the UK, rely on wood for heating, but some people are still keen on open fires, where planning rules allow, to add to the ambience of their home, particularly at Christmas time. This poem was used as an aid to housewives (and husbands) as to which particular types of wood made for good burning. There are two versions, one from my mother and one from my grandmother.
Beechwood fires are bright and clear
Birch and Fir logs burn too fast
Poplar gives a bitter smoke
Beechwood fires burn bright and clear
Oaken logs, if dry and old
The Way Through the Woods.
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.
- Rudyard Kipling
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|Friday, October 1, 2021 12:40 PM|