Photo 1914


Out of us all
That makes rhymes,
Will you choose
Sometimes --
As the winds use
A crack in a wall
Or a drain.
Their joy or their pain
To whistle through --
Choose me,
You English words?

I know you:
You are light as dreams,
Tough as oak,
Precious as gold,
As poppies and corn
Or as an old cloak:
Sweet as our birds
To the ear,
As the burnett rose
In the heat
Of Midsummer:
Strange as the races
Of dead and unborn:
Strange and sweet
And familiar,
To the eye,
As the dearest faces
That a man knows,
And as lost homes are:
But though older far
Than oldest yew, --
As our hills are, old, --
Worn new
Again and again,
Young as our streams
After rain:
And as dear
As the earth which you prove
That we love.

Make me content
With some sweetness
From Wales
Whose nightingales
Have no wings, --
From Wiltshire and Kent
And Herefordshire,
And the villages there, --
From the names, and the things
No less.
Let me sometimes dance
With you,
Or climb
Or stand perchance
In ecstacy,
Fixed and free
In a rhyme,
As poets do.

Edward Thomas (1878-1917)