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Best Famous Edward Thomas Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Edward Thomas poems. This is a select list of the best famous Edward Thomas poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Edward Thomas poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Edward Thomas poems.

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by Edward Thomas | |

Adlestrop

 Yes, I remember Adlestrop -- 
The name, because one afternoon 
Of heat the express-train drew up there 
Unwontedly.
It was late June.
The steam hissed.
Someone cleared his throat.
No one left and no one came On the bare platform.
What I saw Was Adlestrop -- only the name And willows, willow-herb, and grass, And meadowsweet, and haycocks dry, No whit less still and lonely fair Than the high cloudlets in the sky.
And for that minute a blackbird sang Close by, and round him, mistier, Farther and farther, all the birds Of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.


by Edward Thomas | |

Tall Nettles

 TALL nettles cover up, as they have done 
These many springs, the rusty harrow, the plough 
Long worn out, and the roller made of stone: 
Only the elm butt tops the nettles now.
This corner of the farmyard I like most: As well as any bloom upon a flower I like the dust on the nettles, never lost Except to prove the sweetness of a shower.


by Edward Thomas | |

Thaw

 OVER the land half freckled with snow half-thawed 
The speculating rooks at their nests cawed, 
And saw from elm-tops, delicate as a flower of grass, 
What we below could not see, Winter pass.


More great poems below...

by Edward Thomas | |

The Cherry Trees

 The cherry trees bend over and are shedding,
On the old road where all that passed are dead,
Their petals, strewing the grass as for a wedding
This early May morn when there is none to wed.


by Edward Thomas | |

The Dark Forest

 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.


by Edward Thomas | |

Sowing

 IT was a perfect day 
For sowing; just 
As sweet and dry was the ground 
As tobacco-dust.
I tasted deep the hour Between the far Owl's chuckling first soft cry And the first star.
A long stretched hour it was; Nothing undone Remained; the early seeds All safely sown.
And now, hark at the rain, Windless and light, Half a kiss, half a tear, Saying good-night.


by Edward Thomas | |

Celandine

 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.


by Edward Thomas | |

If I Should Ever By Chance

 IF I should ever by chance grow rich 
I'll buy Codham, Cockridden, and Childerditch, 
Roses, Pyrgo, and Lapwater, 
And let them all to my eldest daughter.
The rent I shall ask of her will be only Each year's first violets, white and lonely, The first primroses and orchises-- She must find them before I do, that is.
But if she finds a blossom on furze Without rent they shall all forever be hers, Codham, Cockridden, and Childerditch, Roses, Pyrgo, and Lapwater,-- I shall give them all to my elder daughter.


by Edward Thomas | |

Lights Out

 I have come to the borders of sleep, 
The unfathomable deep 
Forest where all must lose 
Their way, however straight, 
Or winding, soon or late; 
They cannot choose.
Many a road and track That, since the dawn's first crack, 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, Although most sweet or bitter, Here ends in sleep that is sweeter Than tasks most noble.
There is not any book Or face of dearest look That I would not turn from now To go into the unknown I must enter and leave alone I know not how.
The tall forest towers; Its cloudy foliage lowers Ahead, shelf above shelf; Its silence I hear and obey That I may lose my way And myself.


by Edward Thomas | |

Like the Touch of Rain

 Like the touch of rain she was
On a man's flesh and hair and eyes
When the joy of walking thus
Has taken him by surprise:

With the love of the storm he burns,
He sings, he laughs, well I know how,
But forgets when he returns
As I shall not forget her 'Go now'.
Those two words shut a door Between me and the blessed rain That was never shut before And will not open again.


by Edward Thomas | |

The Path

 RUNNING along a bank, a parapet 
That saves from the precipitous wood below 
The level road, there is a path.
It serves Children for looking down the long smooth steep, Between the legs of beech and yew, to where A fallen tree checks the sight: while men and women Content themselves with the road and what they see Over the bank, and what the children tell.
The path, winding like silver, trickles on, Bordered and even invaded by thinnest moss That tries to cover roots and crumbling chalk With gold, olive, and emerald, but in vain.
The children wear it.
They have flattened the bank On top, and silvered it between the moss With the current of their feet, year after year.
But the road is houseless, and leads not to school.
To see a child is rare there, and the eye Has but the road, the wood that overhangs And underyawns it, and the path that looks As if it led on to some legendary Or fancied place where men have wished to go And stay; till, sudden, it ends where the wood ends.


by Edward Thomas | |

The Sign-Post

 The dim sea glints chill.
The white sun is shy, And the skeleton weeds and the never-dry, Rough, long grasses keep white with frost At the hill-top by the finger-post; The smoke of the traveller's-joy is puffed Over hawthorn berry and hazel tuft.
I read the sign.
Which way shall I go? A voice says: "You would not have doubted so At twenty.
" Another voice gentle with scorn Says: "At twenty you wished you had never been born.
" One hazel lost a leaf of gold From a tuft at the tip, when the first voice told The other he wished to know what 'twould be To be sixty by this same post.
"You shall see," He laughed -and I had to join his laughter - "You shall see; but either before or after, Whatever happens, it must befall.
A mouthful of earth to remedy all Regrets and wishes shall be freely given; And if there be a flaw in that heaven 'Twill be freedom to wish, and your wish may be To be here or anywhere talking to me, No matter what the weather, on earth, At any age between death and birth, - To see what day or night can be, The sun and the frost, tha land and the sea, Summer, Winter, Autumn, Spring, - With a poor man of any sort, down to a king, Standing upright out in the air Wondering where he shall journey, O where?"


by Edward Thomas | |

No One So Much As You

 No one so much as you
Loves this my clay, 
Or would lament as you
Its dying day.
You know me through and through Though I have not told, And though with what you know You are not bold.
None ever was so fair As I thought you: Not a word can I bear Spoken against you.
All that I ever did For you seemed coarse Compared with what I hid Nor put in force.
My eyes scarce dare meet you Lest they should prove I but respond to you And do not love.
We look and understand, We cannot speak Except in trifles and Words the most weak.
For I at most accept Your love, regretting That is all: I have kept Only a fretting That I could not return All that you gave And could not ever burn With the love you have, Till sometimes it did seem Better it were Never to see you more Than linger here With only gratitude Instead of love - A pine in solitude Cradling a dove.


by Edward Thomas | |

Old Man

 Old Man, or Lads-Love, - in the name there’s nothing
To one that knows not Lads-Love, or Old Man, 
The hoar green feathery herb, almost a tree, 
Growing with rosemary and lavender.
Even to one that knows it well, the names Half decorate, half perplex, the thing it is: At least, what that is clings not to the names In spite of time.
And yet I like the names.
The herb itself I like not, but for certain I love it, as someday the child will love it Who plucks a feather from the door-side bush Whenever she goes in or out of the house.
Often she waits there, snipping the tips and shrivelling The shreds at last on to the path, Thinking perhaps of nothing, till she sniffs Her fingers and runs off.
The bush is still But half as tall as she, though it is not old; So well she clips it.
Not a word she says; And I ca only wonder how much hereafter She will remember, with that bitter scent, Of garden rows, and ancient damson trees Topping a hedge, a bent path to a door A low thick bush beside the door, and me Forbidding her to pick.
As for myself, Where first I met the bitter scent is lost.
I, too, often shrivel the grey shreds, Sniff them and think and sniff again and try Once more to think what it is I am remembering, Always in vain.
I cannot like the scent, Yet I would rather give up others more sweet, With no meaning, than this bitter one.
I have mislaid the key.
I sniff the spray And think of nothing; I see and I hear nothing; Yet seem, too, to be listening, lying in wait For what I should, yet never can, remember; No garden appears, no path, no hoar-green bush Of Lad’s-love, or Old Man, no child beside, Neither father nor mother, nor any playmate; Only an avenue, dark, nameless, without end


by Edward Thomas | |

The Glory

 The glory of the beauty of the morning, -
The cuckoo crying over the untouched dew; 
The blackbird that has found it, and the dove
That tempts me on to something sweeter than love; 
White clouds ranged even and fair as new-mown hay; 
The heat, the stir, the sublime vacancy
Of sky and meadow and forest and my own heart: -
The glory invites me, yet it leaves me scorning
All I can ever do, all I can be, 
Beside the lovely of motion, shape, and hue, 
The happiness I fancy fit to dwell
In beauty's presence.
Shall I now this day Begin to seek as far as heaven, as hell, Wisdom or strength to match this beauty, start And tread the pale dust pitted with small dark drops, In hope to find whatever it is I seek, Hearkening to short-lived happy-seeming things That we know naught of, in the hazel copse? Or must I be content with discontent As larks and swallows are perhaps with wings? And shall I ask at the day's end once more What beauty is, and what I can have meant By happiness? And shall I let all go, Glad, weary, or both? Or shall I perhaps know That I was happy oft and oft before, Awhile forgetting how I am fast pent, How dreary-swift, with naught to travel to, Is Time? I cannot bite the day to the core.


by Edward Thomas | |

The Lane

 Some day, I think, there will be people enough
In Froxfield to pick all the blackberries
Out of the hedges of Green Lane, the straight
Broad lane where now September hides herself
In bracken and blackberry, harebell and dwarf gorse.
To-day, where yesterday a hundred sheep Were nibbling, halcyon bells shake to the sway Of waters that no vessel ever sailed .
.
.
It is a kind of spring: the chaffinch tries His song.
For heat it is like summer too.
This might be winter's quiet.
While the glint Of hollies dark in the swollen hedges lasts - One mile - and those bells ring, little I know Or heed if time be still the same, until The lane ends and once more all is the same.


by Edward Thomas | |

The Long Small Room

 THE long small room that showed willows in the west 
Narrowed up to the end the fireplace filled, 
Although not wide.
I liked it.
No one guessed What need or accident made them so build.
Only the moon, the mouse, and the sparrow peeped In from the ivy round the casement thick.
Of all they saw and heard there they shall keep The tale for the old ivy and older brick.
When I look back I am like moon, sparrow, and mouse That witnessed what they could never understand Or alter or prevent in the dark house.
One thing remains the same--this is my right hand Crawling crab-like over the clean white page, Resting awhile each morning on the pillow, Then once more starting to crawl on towards age.
The hundred last leaves stream upon the willow.


by Edward Thomas | |

The Manor Farm

 THE rock-like mud unfroze a little, and rills 
Ran and sparkled down each side of the road 
Under the catkins wagging in the hedge.
But earth would have her sleep out, spite of the sun; Nor did I value that thin gliding beam More than a pretty February thing Till I came down to the old manor farm, And church and yew-tree opposite, in age Its equals and in size.
The church and yew And farmhouse slept in a Sunday silentness.
The air raised not a straw.
The steep farm roof, With tiles duskily glowing, entertained The mid-day sun; and up and down the roof White pigeons nestled.
There was no sound but one.
Three cart horses were looking over a gate Drowsily through their forelocks, swishing their tails Against a fly, a solitary fly.
The winter's cheek flushed as if he had drained Spring, summer, and autumn at a draught And smiled quietly.
But 'twas not winter-- Rather a season of bliss unchangeable, Awakened from farm and church where it had lain Safe under tile and latch for ages since This England, Old already, was called Merry.


by Edward Thomas | |

The New House

 NOW first, as I shut the door, 
I was alone 
In the new house; and the wind 
Began to moan.
Old at once was the house, And I was old; My ears were teased with the dread Of what was foretold, Nights of storm, days of mist, without end; Sad days when the sun Shone in vain: old griefs and griefs Not yest begun.
All was foretold me; naught Could I foresee; But I learnt how the wind would sound After these things should be


by Edward Thomas | |

The Trumpet

 Rise up, rise up,
And, as the trumpet blowing
Chases the dreams of men,
As the dawn glowing
The stars that left unlit
The land and water,
Rise up and scatter
The dew that covers
The print of last night's lovers - 
Scatter it, scatter it!

While you are listening
To the clear horn,
Forget, men, everything
On this earth newborn,
Except that it is lovelier
Than any mysteries.
Open your eyes to the air That has washed the eyes of the stars Through all the dewy night: Up with the light, To the old wars; Arise, arise!


by Edward Thomas | |

The Word

 There are so many things I have forgot, 
That once were much to me, or that were not, 
All lost, as is a childless woman's child 
And its child's children, in the undefiled 
Abyss of what can never be again.
I have forgot, too, names of the mighty men That fought and lost or won in the old wars, Of kings and fiends and gods, and most of the stars.
Some things I have forgot that I forget.
But lesser things there are, remembered yet, Than all the others.
One name that I have not -- Though 'tis an empty thingless name -- forgot Never can die because Spring after Spring Some thrushes learn to say it as they sing.
There is always one at midday saying it clear And tart -- the name, only the name I hear.
While perhaps I am thinking of the elder scent That is like food, or while I am content With the wild rose scent that is like memory, This name suddenly is cried out to me From somewhere in the bushes by a bird Over and over again, a pure thrush word.


by Edward Thomas | |

When First I Came Here

 WHEN first I came here I had hope, 
Hope for I knew not what.
Fast beat My heart at the sight of the tall slope Or grass and yews, as if my feet Only by scaling its steps of chalk Would see something no other hill Ever disclosed.
And now I walk Down it the last time.
Never will My heart beat so again at sight Of any hill although as fair And loftier.
For infinite The change, late unperceived, this year, The twelfth, suddenly, shows me plain.
Hope now,--not health nor cheerfulness, Since they can come and go again, As often one brief hour witnesses,-- Just hope has gone forever.
Perhaps I may love other hills yet more Than this: the future and the maps Hide something I was waiting for.
One thing I know, that love with chance And use and time and necessity Will grow, and louder the heart's dance At parting than at meeting be.


by Edward Thomas | |

As the Teams Head- Brass

 As the team's head-brass flashed out on the turn
The lovers disappeared into the wood.
I sat among the boughs of the fallen elm That strewed the angle of the fallow, and Watched the plough narrowing a yellow square Of charlock.
Every time the horses turned Instead of treading me down, the ploughman leaned Upon the handles to say or ask a word, About the weather, next about the war.
Scraping the share he faced towards the wood, And screwed along the furrow till the brass flashed Once more.
The blizzard felled the elm whose crest I sat in, by a woodpecker's round hole, The ploughman said.
'When will they take it away? ' 'When the war's over.
' So the talk began – One minute and an interval of ten, A minute more and the same interval.
'Have you been out? ' 'No.
' 'And don't want to, perhaps? ' 'If I could only come back again, I should.
I could spare an arm, I shouldn't want to lose A leg.
If I should lose my head, why, so, I should want nothing more.
.
.
Have many gone From here? ' 'Yes.
' 'Many lost? ' 'Yes, a good few.
Only two teams work on the farm this year.
One of my mates is dead.
The second day In France they killed him.
It was back in March, The very night of the blizzard, too.
Now if He had stayed here we should have moved the tree.
' 'And I should not have sat here.
Everything Would have been different.
For it would have been Another world.
' 'Ay, and a better, though If we could see all all might seem good.
' Then The lovers came out of the wood again: The horses started and for the last time I watched the clods crumble and topple over After the ploughshare and the stumbling team.


by Edward Thomas | |

A Cat

 She had a name among the children;
But no one loved though someone owned
Her, locked her out of doors at bedtime
And had her kittens duly drowned.
In Spring, nevertheless, this cat Ate blackbirds, thrushes, nightingales, And birds of bright voice and plume and flight, As well as scraps from neighbours’ pails.
I loathed and hated her for this; One speckle on a thrush’s breast Was worth a million such; and yet She lived long, till God gave her rest.


by Edward Thomas | |

A Private

 This ploughman dead in battle slept out of doors
Many a frozen night, and merrily
Answered staid drinkers, good bedmen, and all bores:
"At Mrs Greenland's Hawthorn Bush," said he,
"I slept.
" None knew which bush.
Above the town, Beyond `The Drover', a hundred spot the down In Wiltshire.
And where now at last he sleeps More sound in France -that, too, he secret keeps.