Half a prayer

Half a prayer

A perfect example of mercurial Greek god behaviour. No rhyme or reason, I grant this, I grant that, I refuse one thing, and not the other. May your prayers be granted, in whole or in part, but if in part, let it be the right part. ‘God heard his prayer and...
Fortune’s favour

Fortune’s favour

This reminds me of an anonymous Elizabethan verse which I cite from memory:   ‘Lift up thy heart and courage eke, Be bold and of good cheer; For Fortune most doth favour those Who all things least do fear.’   So, go forth and fear not! This is from...
Potwalloper

Potwalloper

‘… potwallopers grazing marsh.’ This is a variant of ‘potwaller’, a curious and arcane English method of deciding who gets to vote in a borough.  According to the OED: ‘A male householder or lodger with his own separate fireplace on...
Whippering

Whippering

‘… the whippering cries of golden plover.’ This seems to be a Williamson coinage to describe the cry of a bird.  I haven’t found it in the Big Fat OED, source of all (English) words.  See also ‘stitter’ and ‘chitter’....
Light-smitten height

Light-smitten height

The only time I’ve seen the sun likened to a dandelion, here smiting the heights with light! ‘When the sun, like an immense dandelion, looked over the light-smitten height of Cosdon Beacon, Tarka was returning along a lynch, or rough trackway, to the...
Age-long silt

Age-long silt

Time flowing and settling in sand and sediment, steadily accreting new landscapes. ‘As the river grew older, so the meadows and cornfields beyond its banks stretched a wider green over the age-long silt filling the valley’s groin.’   Source: Henry...
Sun-hot boulder

Sun-hot boulder

You can see the lamb snuggling up against the warm stone radiator. And on these sultry days of August, many a sun-hot boulder.  I pepper the plant pots with pebbles to soak up the sun and protect the soil from drying out. It looks beautiful.  Elsewhere, Williamson has...
Of beetle fragments and spider tunnels

Of beetle fragments and spider tunnels

What an intricate way to describe a shipwreck pulled apart by tidal ebb and flow. It also reminds me of the novel by Italo Calvino, The Path to the Spiders’ Nests, which describes small grassy gates woven by spiders – see insert. ‘… a destroyer...

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