Here are four snippets of literature which, in contrasting ways, pay homage to the Teme Valley through the centuries. The first is taken from Camden’s ‘Britannia’ (first published in Latin in 1586) and appears to be a description of the Teme Valley from Lindridge; the second is an extract from ‘Eastham Hill’, written in 1796 by T Davis; the third from the 1820s by Richard Gardner ‘the poet of the Teme’; and the fourth from Violet Poulton’s ‘Holiday Memory’ a poetic description of summers spent near Eastham in the 1930s.
From Camden’s Britannia
“Here hills do lift their heads aloft, from whence sweet springs do flow
Whose moisture good, doth fertile make, the valleys couched below
Here goodly orchards are, in fruit which do abound
Thine eye would make thine heart rejoice, to see so pleasant ground”.
From T Davis’ ‘Eastham Hill: a loco-descriptive poem
“……..The place I stand, near six score yards doth rise
Above the valley where the TEME’S current lies,
Far to the left, the ridge extending bends,
And, high projecting, over ROCHFORD ends:
The right, a line almost direct appears,
And its proud brow o’er dirty ORLTON rears……..
…….The willow-crowned TEME, with thund’ring force,
Adorn this valley takes its winding course;
Its glossy face reflects th’ impending wood,
The madd’ning cattle seek th’ umbrageous flood;
With taper rod the angler throws the fly,
And the poor finny race is doom’d to die.
At a vast distance, o’er SABRINA’S flood,
Crown’d with rough rocks, and skirted round with wood,
The scarce-seen, sky-topt WREKIN’S summit stands,
A dread ascent above the river-sands:
As some proud Monarch on a conquer’d foe………”
Depiction of the Roman Goddess Sabrina
From Richard Gardner’s opus of poems
“There is Eastham Horseham & Newnham
Lands in the form of a Gammon
The wood near Clifton & two Hams
Would equal the forest Lebanon”.
‘Holiday Memory’ by Violet Poulton; taken from A D Opperman’s: ‘Eastham-within living memory’
“I remember that summer day
Aunty said ‘Come to stay.
Start from Whitney by train
Change at Hereford again’
From a bus we did alight
Through a gate and on the right
Oh the fields so fresh and green
Passed the prettiest brook I ever had seen….
….Brown hens next we pass
Scratching and clucking in the grass.
Over the hill I could see
A black and white house waiting for me…”