by: Edward Thomas

      UT of us all
      That make rhymes,
      Will you choose
      As the winds use
      A crack in the 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 an old cloak;
      Sweet as our birds
      to the ear,
      As the burnet 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 ecstasy,
      Fixed and free
      In a rhyme,
      As poets do.

'Words' is reprinted from An Anthology of Modern Verse. Ed. A. Methuen. London: Methuen & Co., 1921.



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