The cover of the book is faded and without a dust jacket but the inside condition very good. The lovely couple, Edward and Janet, who I bought the book from, told me there was a poem in the book and on closer examination, I was delighted to find inside the front cover of 'The Pleasant Land of Gwent' which was published in 1944, a beautiful handwritten note and a poem, written for the recipient of the book which was obviously sent or given to him as a present.
It goes as follows:
To Dear Toby
With my Love
may this book help you recall some of the very pleasant hours spent in Monmouthshire:
I long to walk again,
Along that little lane,
Deep set in banks of ferns and flowers,
Where we have spent such happy hours.
Each twist of it I know
And often in dreams I go,
To seek and find those lost delights,
The summer days, the autumn nights.
Retracing every step we took,
Across the bridge that spans the brook.
Then past the cottage,
Round the bend,
Do you remember? Dearest Friend
July 27 1945 Evelyn
I don't suppose I will ever find out who Toby and Evelyn, who wrote (well, unless she has copied the lines from someone else of course), this beautiful poem for him inside what is a beautiful book, actually were (if you think you might know do tell), but it touched my heart and I thought I would share it with you. Evelyn's words, and based on those, my own thoughts on who Toby and Evelyn were and the relationship they may have had, through and just after WW2 have inspired me to try and write a song. If it ever gets out of the composition stable I will share it with you on an update to this post. However, I think Toby and Evelyn would be pleased to know that the countryside of Monmouthshire continues to delight people as it did them, back in the 1940's.
|Wild flowers growing in a hedge near the Berthin Brook in 2013|