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Last Poems   By: (1878-1917)

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Edward Thomas (1918) Last Poems






I never saw that Land before The Dark Forest Celandine The Ash Grove Old Man The Thrush I built myself a House of Glass February Afternoon Digging Two Houses The Mill water A Dream Sedge Warblers Under the Woods What will they do? To night A Cat The Unknown Song She dotes For These March the Third The New House March The Cuckoo Over the Hills Home The Hollow Wood Wind and Mist The Unknown Bird The Lofty Sky After Rain Digging But these things also April The Barn The Barn and the Down The Child on the Cliffs Good night The Wasp Trap July A Tale Parting Lovers That Girl's Clear Eyes The Child in the Orchard The Source The Mountain Chapel First known when lost The Word These things that Poets said Home Aspens An Old Song There was a Time Ambition No one cares less than I Roads This is no case of petty Right or Wrong The Chalk Pit Health Beauty Snow The New Year The Brook The Other House and Man The Gypsy Man and Dog A Private Out in the Dark


I NEVER saw that land before, And now can never see it again; Yet, as if by acquaintance hoar Endeared, by gladness and by pain, Great was the affection that I bore

To the valley and the river small, The cattle, the grass, the bare ash trees, The chickens from the farmsteads, all Elm hidden, and the tributaries Descending at equal interval;

The blackthorns down along the brook With wounds yellow as crocuses Where yesterday the labourer's hook Had sliced them cleanly; and the breeze That hinted all and nothing spoke.

I neither expected anything Nor yet remembered: but some goal I touched then; and if I could sing What would not even whisper my soul As I went on my journeying,

I should use, as the trees and birds did, A language not to be betrayed; And what was hid should still be hid Excepting from those like me made Who answer when such whispers bid.


DARK is the forest and deep, and overhead Hang stars like seeds of light In vain, though not since they were sown was bred Anything more bright.

And evermore mighty multitudes ride About, nor enter in; Of the other multitudes that dwell inside Never yet was one seen.

The forest foxglove is purple, the marguerite Outside is gold and white, Nor can those that pluck either blossom greet The others, day or night.


THINKING of her had saddened me at first, Until I saw the sun on the celandines lie Redoubled, and she stood up like a flame, A living thing, not what before I nursed, The shadow I was growing to love almost, The phantom, not the creature with bright eye That I had thought never to see, once lost.

She found the celandines of February Always before us all. Her nature and name Were like those flowers, and now immediately For a short swift eternity back she came, Beautiful, happy, simply as when she wore Her brightest bloom among the winter hues Of all the world; and I was happy too, Seeing the blossoms and the maiden who Had seen them with me Februarys before, Bending to them as in and out she trod And laughed, with locks sweeping the mossy sod.

But this was a dream: the flowers were not true, Until I stooped to pluck from the grass there One of five petals and I smelt the juice Which made me sigh, remembering she was no more, Gone like a never perfectly recalled air.


HALF of the grove stood dead, and those that yet lived made Little more than the dead ones made of shade. If they led to a house, long before they had seen its fall: But they welcomed me; I was glad without cause and delayed.

Scarce a hundred paces under the trees was the Interval Paces each sweeter than sweetest miles but nothing at all, Not even the spirits of memory and fear with restless wing, Could climb down in to molest me over the wall

That I passed through at either end without noticing. And now an ash grove far from those hills can bring The same tranquillity in which I wander a ghost With a ghostly gladness, as if I heard a girl sing

The song of the Ash Grove soft as love uncrossed, And then in a crowd or in distance it were lost, But the moment unveiled something unwilling to die And I had what most I desired, without search or desert or cost... Continue reading book >>

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