The tide comes up the black and gusty river

We love visiting our friends in the Netherlands, we always have a wonderful time together – and also a wonderful time when they visit us here in England! We became friends through our love of music, and first met in person about ten years ago. They live in a lovely part of the country, in Nord Brabant, beautiful countryside, interesting towns and cities and villages… we always have such a relaxing time and there is always something different we visit each time we go.

This sonnet is by Sir John Hanmer, Baron Hanmer; he was born in 1809, a poet and a politician, and died in 1881.


A View in Holland
The tide comes up the black and gusty river,
Slowly against it makes a boat its way,
In the rough gale the bending sedges shiver,
The dripping piles fling back the shattered spray;
There is a church, but none who come to pray–
For it is a week-day and made fast the door,
But onward by a willow-sheltered bay
Hangs forth a sign more tempting to the boer;
Wild sing the breezes from the northern sea
Flustering the topsails on the coast’s low line,
Windly sings Hans within the lattice, he
Is flustered too, but it is with brantewein:
See on the sands a wandering group appear,
Mynherr Verkoop the pedlar and his gear.



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