The tempestuous morn (late)

Another year of mixed-up weather, if you take Matthew Arnold's poem as your yard-stick.  Unlike last year, when June was tempestuous all the way through, this year has been dry to the extent that I was longing for 'volleying rain' for the sake of the garden.  You can see previous June tempests at this link.

But just at the end of the month the seasons have righted themselves and we have rain and wind.  Above, where the Pentland Hills should be on the horizon, the clouds hang heavy.

"So, some tempestuous morn in early June,
When the year's primal burst of bloom is o'er,
Before the roses and the longest day -
When garden-walks and all the grassy floor
With blossoms red and white of fallen May
And chestnut-flowers are strewn -
So have I heard the cuckoo's parting cry,
From the wet field, through the vext garden-trees,
Come with the volleying rain and tossing breeze;
The bloom is gone, and with the bloom go I!"

Matthew Arnold, Thrysis
The longest day is past, but the roses are still with us.  It may seem strange to miss this sort of dark, damp weather at this time of year, but if you tune in to the rhythm of the British seasons then the tempestuous morn just feels right.

As long as it doesn't last too long.

This weekend I'll be posting photos from my son's graduation this week.  And however much I love the tempestuous morn, I was glad that the sun shone for us.


  1. I don't mind a summer shower or two but can't say I like tempestuous storms in the summer...well...maybe a thunderstorm or two!!!

  2. We pretty much just have mild tempests - very British. Like the films that are described as containing 'mild threat'.

  3. It always seems rather odd to have the longest day before the summer really begins. Scotland always looks at it's best in dull weather I think, but I guess you guys up there think differently eh? Congrats on your son's graduation, I hope the weather is good for that.

    1. Gary, I try not to think about the downward slide of daylight after the longest day. Monty Don is very affected by it, and I try to push away thoughts that the days are getting shorter!
      As you will see, we did have a great day of sunshine for the graduation.

  4. It is a pretty rose. It looks like mine in the back yard. I am glad you have rain as it does make such a difference in the growing season.

  5. congrats on the graduation
    looking forward to see the photos

  6. Congrats on your son's graduation! As an engineer, I know how hard a course of study it is! Can't wait to see your photos and recap.

  7. This is very interesting - I hadn't read Matthew Arnold's take on British summer weather. Yes, we had a day of heavy rain yesterday and the cat I was looking after for a friend was most put out that she was not allowed outside (as per instructions regarding wet weather). Your comment about mild tempests / mild threat is very funny. Having lived in a tornado-prone part of the USA for four years, I'm glad that we don't have too many truly wild summer storms here in Scotland.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts