by John Betjamin (1906-1984)
Dear Mary, Yes, it will be bliss To go with you by train to Diss, Your walking shoes upon your feet, We'll meet, my sweet, at Liverpool Street. That levellers we may be reckoned Perhaps we'd better travel second; Or, lest reporters on us burst, Perhaps we'd better travel first. Above the chimney pots we'll go, Through Stepney, Stratford-atte-Bow And out to where the Essex marsh Is filled with houses new and harsh Till, Witham pass'd, the landscape yields On left and right to widening fields, Flint church-towers sparkling in the light, Black beams and weather-boarding white, Cricket bat willows silvery-green And elmy hills with brooks between, Maltings and saltings, stack and quay And somewhere near, the grey North Sea; Then further gentle undulations With lonelier and less frequent stations, Till in the dimmest place of all The train slows down into a crawl And stops in silence .... where is this? Dear Mary Wilson, this is Diss.