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    Cradley Links

    Foxcote Lanes by Adam Brazier

    Adam Brazier (1844-1917) was born in Malinslee near Dawley in Shropshire. His family moved to Cradley when he was a young child and he spent the rest of his life here. He was one of the six sons of George Brazier who came to live in Netherend. Adam became a Trustee of Cradley Wesleyan Chapel and lived at Ivydene in Colman Hill.

    "Daisies": A Volume of Simple Poems by Adam Brazier

    Adam was referred to by his friends as "the inimitable Adam" and was reported to be the life and soul of the May-Day Festivals and Christmas Socials that he founded. As well as as a trustee and local preacher, he was also an accomplished poet.

    In the preface to "Daisies - A Volume of Simple Poems", he attributes his inspiration to "homeward journeyings from distant countryside services, lonely strolls over Clent Hills, and the quietness of home and garden". One of the poems in this volume he named 'Foxcote Lanes' after the ancient country lane that led from Two Gates, Cradley towards Clent. Foxcote Lane was - and still is - a favourite way to walk out of Cradley into the clean air of the nearby countryside.

    O how I love these country lanes!

    Amid their pure perennial charms,

    At once removed from social harms,

    My life its truer life regains.

    Roaming these lanes I never tire,

    Nor fail to feel their mystic good;

    'Mid falling leaf, or Spring's new bud,

    At misty dawn or sunset's fire -

    O never do their glories cease!

    It seems as tho' 'twere always May.

    Or that some holy Sabbath day

    Had toned them with its lasting peace.

    Thick gemm'd with beauties, steep and high,

    Embankments rise on either side,

    As tho' from lesser good to hide,

    They focus but a bit of sky.

    Or massive beech that shoot up straight,

    With shady tops and giant boles,

    Reminding one of noble souls,

    The pillars of a church or state.

    How calm and still, these lonely lanes!

    Here silence is save song of bird,

    Here voices speak but not with word,

    And quietness unbroken reigns.

    How better far than crowded street!

    Scene of an evening's vain parade,

    Where youth's most precious hours are laid

    A sacrifice at folly's feet.

    How wiser far these lanes to know,

    To breathe their scentful atmosphere,

    To feel afresh their power to cheer,

    Or set the heart's pure fires aglow.

    But now for home. With daylight flown

    Young love comes strolling here in twos,

    It seeks the shade of these dark yews -

    The wise will leave young love alone.

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