"Oh, To Be In England Now That April's There"

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Last Updated on November 2, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 131

Context: Browning wrote this poem in 1838, during his first trip into Italy. It may be considered the nostalgic recollection of the delicate beauties of the English spring by an Englishman who must spend the season away from his native land. At the time of the writing, the first signs of spring are becoming evident; the poet then looks ahead into May, when the spring in the countryside has become full, but has not lost its fineness and gentleness. The Mediterranean spring in Italy, by contrast, is grosser, a "gaudy melon-flower."

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Oh, to be in England
Now that April's there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
In England–now!

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"That's The Wise Thrush; He Sings Each Song Twice Over"