Home Thoughts from Abroad

I must go back to the village

Where Elizabeth Bennet lived,

I must see again the Cob at Lyme

From which Luisa fell.


I must go back to the fields

Of Ratty and of Mole.

And hear what Toad is up to now

And the rest of the river news.


I must go back to the Thames, where George’s shirt

Sank in the murky water.

I must find the island where that night in the rain

Harris finished the whisky.


Back to the streets of the Borough,

Where a creaking inn sign swings in the wind,

And Fagin lives up the winding stair.


Back to Baker Street

Baking hot in August

But dismal in November fog

To watch Mrs Hudson usher in

Another nervous visitor.


Back to the docks at Wapping

All gone now, all long gone,

To hear the old night watchman

On his tea chest spinning yarns

Of Sam and Ginger and Peter Russet.


I’ve been away too long.

The sky is blue,

The sea is blue,

The hibiscus flowers each day,

But as the time goes by, I know

I’ve been too long away.