Edward Thomas



  • Now I know that Spring will come again

As if the mighty sun wept tears of joy

  • They had but one hour to sing. On boughs they sang,

For singing merely. So they could keep off silence and night

  • Stained with all that hour's song, a silence
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Old Man

  • Even to one that knows it well, the names

Half decorate, half perplex, the thing it is:


  • I have mislaid the key. I sniff the spray

And think of nothing; I see and I hear nothing,

  • Neither father nor mother, nor any playmate;
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  • It seems I have no tears left. They should have fallen -
  • When twenty hounds streamed by me, not yet combed out
  • Soldiers in line, young English countrymen,

Fair-haired and ruddy, in white tunics. Drums

  • And silence, told me truths I had not dreamed,

And have forgotten since their beauty passed.

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But These Things Also

  • In the grass; chip of flint, and mite

Of chalk; and the small bird's dung;


  • All the white things a man mistakes

For earliest violets

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  • The rain and wind, the rain and wind, raved endlessly.

On me the Summer storm, and fever, and melancholy

  • What I desired I knew not, but whate'er my choice

Vain it must be, I knew. Yet naught did my despair

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The Glory

  • The cuckoo crying over the untouched dew;


  • The heat, the stir, the sublime vacancy


  • That we know nought of the hazel copse?
  • Or must I be content with discontent

As larks and swallows are perhaps with wings?

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  • A crack in a wall

 Or a drain,

  • Choose me,

You English words?

  • You are light as dreams,

Tough as oak,

Precious as gold,

  • Worn new

Again and again:

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  • All day and night, save winter, every weather,


  • Of rain, until their last leaves fall from the top.


  • The clink, the hum, the roar, the random singing
  • Aspens may shake their leaves and men may hear

But need not listen, more than to my rhymes.

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This is no case of petty right or wrong

  • This is no case of petty right or wrong

That politicians or philosophers

Can judge. I hate not Germans, nor grow hot


  • Beside my hate for one fat patriot (So rampant in his cheery patriotism)


  • The phoenix broods serene above their ken.


  • And as we love ourselves we hate her foe.
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  • Rain, midnight rain, nothing but the wild rain

On this bleak hut, and solitude, and me,


  • Blessed are the dead that the rain rains upon:
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No one so much as you

  • No one so much as you

Loves this my clay:


  • You know me through and through

Though I have not told,


  • A pine in solitude

Cradling a dove.

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The sun used to shine

  • The sun used to shine while we two walked

Slowly together, paused and started

Again, and sometimes mused, sometimes talked

  • Each night. We never disagreed

Which gate to rest on. The to be


  • The fallen apples, all the talks

And silences - like memory's sand

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As the team's head - brass

  • The lovers disappeared into the wood.


  • Watched the plough narrowing a yellow square


  • 'Have you been out?' 'No.' 'And don't want to perhaps?'


  • A leg. If I should lose my head, why, so,

I should want nothing more...Have many gone


  • The lovers came out of the wood again:
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Gone, gone again

  • Gone, gone again


  • In the harvest rain,

The Bleinham oranges

Fall grubby from the trees,


  • Look at the old house,

...With grass growing instead


  • Not one pane to reflect the sun,

For the schoolboys to throw at -

They have broken every one.

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Lights Out

  • Forest where all must lose

Their way, however straight,

Or winding, soon or late;

They cannot choose.


  • Up to the forest brink,

Deceived the travellers

Suddenly now blurs,

And in they sink.


  • Here love ends,

Despair, ambition ends,

All pleasure and all trouble,

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