This editorial was originally going to contain some cheerful remarks about this month's edition. That was before the attacks on London, which made necessary the reconsideration of a host of things including whether to change the structure and content of this issue, all while, like many of you, trying to ascertain whether family and friends were all right. (They are, as I hope and trust are yours.) I decided in the end that this would be the only part of the magazine significantly altered by these events. In the rest of this month's edition you will find that the policy pursued in general is "Business as usual", and that is, I hope, what is most appropriate.
Our society, and London in particular, has survived much worse before, and it can and will come through this threat, and, it is to be hoped, without backlash against the Muslim community. For the strength of the English people lies in their tolerance, their kindliness and their capacity for mutual support. And this is a strength which can never be broken.--The Editor
I leant upon a coppice gate When Frost was spectre-gray, And Winter’s dregs made desolate The weakening eye of day. The tangled bine-stems scored the sky Like strings of broken lyres, And all mankind that haunted nigh Had sought their household fires.
The land’s sharp features seemed to be The Century’s corpse outleant, His crypt the cloudy canopy, The wind his death-lament. The ancient pulse of germ and birth Was shrunken hard and dry, And every spirit upon earth Seemed fervourless as I.
At once a voice arose among The bleak twigs overhead In a full-hearted evensong Of joy illimited; An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small, In blast-beruffled plume, Had chosen thus to fling his soul Upon the growing gloom.
So little cause for carolings Of such ecstatic sound Was written on terrestrial things Afar or nigh around, That I could think there trembled through His happy good-night air Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew And I was unaware.