bluebells in the woodland
Poetry,  Write

Helen Duncan’s poems of nature

As estranged from nature as we’ve become, I find you can’t help but become enraptured by spring. I’ve picked two poems penned by my great grandmother who loved to write about nature. One is about springtime and the other is about Dartmoor, a rugged moorland in Devon.

Bluebell nature green

Odes on Springtime

When winds have ceased to blow across the sea

When buds appear upon the leafless tree

When rooks do build, to birds new love songs sing

All nature wakes to greet the spring.


The tiny snowdrops clad in purest white

Drop their heads and disappear from sight

The crocus purple, golden hue

Have come to say, life starts anew.


Small white daisies deck the fields around

The yellow daffodils in wood abound

And pale primroses strew the glade

Where modest violets nestle in the shade.


The lark is singing as he wings on high

The sparkling rain drops fall from April skies

And caught by sunbeams where they nest

Bedecked with jewels fair nature’s newest dress,


The bluebells wave amid the grass

Their royal banners where you pass

And from a motley feathered throng

Bursts forth an ever rising song,


It fills the air with joyous sound

And echoes in the skies around

And through the vale and over the plain

So heard the same sweet glad reframe.


Though ages old, and yet tis ever new

It bursts a song of hope, for me and you

And in our hearts of Psalms we sing

Of thanks to God, for wondrous spring.


Farnborough April 1935



Dartmoor snow nature

On Dartmoor

O vast and rugged moorland what could wish for more?

Your ever changing range of hills and mighty rocky tors

While overhead the fluffy clouds, glide like a mighty throng

A feast is spread before the eyes, the heart is filled with song.


There’s music in your waterfalls and ever restless streams

And on your rock strewn rivers, the rays of sunlight gleams

And in the lovely valleys and in the wooded dells

They say that there the Pixies, still weave their magic spells


And if you climb the hillside and scale the mighty tors

It seems the breath of Heaven has yawned the heath clad moors

Where all is hushed, the world is still, no sound comes to the ear

You feel your heart with joy uplift and know that God is near.

H.E Duncan 1936

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