Adlestrop by Edward Thomas

The setting for this poem is the railway station serving the small village of Adlestrop in Gloucestershire; the moment is a day in ‘late June’ – specifically, late June 1914, when Thomas, on his way to visit Robert Frost, noted the summery sounds and sights while the train stopped at the station. The poem captures a moment of English summer tranquillity in a few vivid, evocative images and sounds.

Yes. I remember Adlestrop—
The name, because one afternoon
Of heat the express-train drew up there
Unwontedly. It was late June.

The steam hissed. Someone cleared his throat.
No one left and no one came
On the bare platform. What I saw
Was Adlestrop—only the name

And willows, willow-herb, and grass,
And meadowsweet, and haycocks dry,
No whit less still and lonely fair
Than the high cloudlets in the sky.

And for that minute a blackbird sang
Close by, and round him, mistier,
Farther and farther, all the birds
Of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.