Hedgerows through art.
Norman Neasom 1961.
Spring hedge laying.
Hedgerows in literature. Extract from Goody Blake and Harry Gill by William Wordsworth. This is said to be based upon a true story. The law at the time meant that a farmer could be prosecuted for not keeping his hedgerows in good order (gappy).
Now when the frost was past enduring,
And made her poor old bones to ache,
Could any thing be more alluring,Than an old hedge to Goody Blake?
And now and then, it must be said,When her old
bones were cold and chill,
She left her fire, or left her bed,
To seek the hedge of Harry Gill.
(Harry Gill a local farmer was the owner of the hedgerow).
And fiercely by the arm he took her,
And by the arm he held her fast,
And fiercely by the arm he shook her,
And cried, "I've caught you then at last!"
Then Goody, who had nothing said,
Her bundle from her lap let fall;
And kneeling on the sticks, she
pray'dTo God that is the judge of all.
She pray'd, her wither'd hand uprearing,
While Harry held her by the arm--
"God! who art never out of hearing,
O may he never more be warm!"
The cold, cold moon above her head,
Thus on her knees did Goody pray,
Young Harry heard what she had said;
And icy-cold he turned away.
Some say she put a curse on him. The story tells that from that day on he could never feel warm again, no matter what he did or how many clothes and coats he wore. He eventually took to his bed where he stayed for twenty years. He ended his days teeth chattering, chattering, chattering.
No word to any man he utters,
A-bed or up, to young or old;
But ever to himself he mutters,
"Poor Harry Gill is very cold."
A-bed or up, by night or day;
His teeth they chatter, chatter still.
Now think, ye farmers all, I pray,
Of Goody Blake and Harry Gill.
Hedgerows through art.
Man laying hedgerow.
Woman with Sticks.
American artist Bruce Greene 1953. This painting could represent Goody Blake in Wordsworths poem.
Harry Gill & Goody Blake.
This poem was written by William Wordsworth in 1798 and published in Lyrical
Ballads the same year. Lyrical Ballads contained poems by both
Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and many of Wordsworth's poems concern
the rural poor
The arches of Tintern Abbey. J.M.W. Turner. 1794.
These hedge-rows, hardly hedge-rows, little lines
Of sportive wood run wild: these pastoral farms,
Green to the very door; and wreaths of smoke.
Sent up, in silence, from among the trees!
With some uncertain notice, as might seem
Of vagrant dwellers in the houseless woods,
Or of some Hermit's cave, where by his fire
The Hermit sits alone.
Extract from "Tintern Abbey"
By William Wordsworth (1770-1850).
[Composed A Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey,July 13, 1798.]