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Thomas, Edward
Edward Thomas
1878-1917 Großbritannien


SOME eyes condemn the earth they gaze upon :
Some wait patiently till they know far more
Than earth can tell them : some laugh at the whole
As folly of another's making : one

I knew that laughed because he saw, from core
To rind, not one thing 'worth the laugh his soul
Had ready at waking : some eyes have begun
With laughing ; some stand startled at the door.

Others, too, I have seen rest, question, roll,
Dance, shoot. And many I have loved watching. Some
I could not take my eyes from till they turned

And loving died. I had not found my goal.
But thinking of your eyes, dear, I become
Dumb : for they flamed, and it was me they burned.

IT was upon a July evening.
At a stile I stood, looking along a path
Over the country by a second Spring
Drenched perfect green again. " The lattermath

Will be a fine one." So the stranger said,
A wandering man. Albeit I stood at rest,
Flushed with desire I was. The earth outspread,
Like meadows of the future, I possessed.

And as an unaccomplished prophecy
The stranger's words, after the interval
Of a score years, when those fields are by me

Never to be recrossed, now I recall,
This July eve, and question, wondering,
What of the lattermath to this hoar Spring

MEN heard this roar of parleying starlings, saw,
A thousand years ago even as now,
Black rooks with white gulls following the plough
So that the first are last until a caw

Commands that last are first again, a law
Which was of old when one, like me, dreamed how
A thousand years might dust lie on his brow
Yet thus would birds do between hedge and shaw.

Time swims before me, making as a day
A thousand years, while the broad ploughland oak
Roars mill-like and men strike and bear the stroke

Of war as ever, audacious or resigned,
And God still sits aloft in the array
That we have wrought him, stone-deaf and stone-blind.

THAT girl's clear eyes utterly concealed all
Except that there was something to reveal.
And what did mine say in the interval ?
No more : no less. They are but as a seal

Not to be broken till after I am dead ;
And then vainly. Every one of us
This morning at our tasks left nothing said,
In spite of many words. We were sealed thus,

Like tombs. Nor until now could I admit
That all I cared for was the pleasure and pain
I tasted in the stony square sunlit,
Or the dark cloisters, or shade of airy plane,

While music blazed and children, line after line,
Marched past, hiding the "SEVENTEEN THIRTY- NINE."

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