Sunday, October 29, 2006

Rain by Edward Thomas

It's been raining pretty hard here in Seattle, off and on. I thought of the poem by Edward Thomas, the English poet who wrote most of his poems in the space of a few years leading up to World War 1. He died on a battlefield in France in April, 1917.
Rain, midnight rain, nothing but the wild rain
On this bleak hut, and solitude, and me
Remembering again that I shall die
And neither hear the rain nor give it thanks
For washing me cleaner than I have been
Since I was born into this solitude.
Blessed are the dead that the rain rains upon:
But here I pray that none whom once I loved
Is dying to-night or lying still awake
Solitary, listening to the rain,
Either in pain or thus in sympathy
Helpless among the living and the dead,
Like a cold water among broken reeds,
Myriads of broken reeds all still and stiff,
Like me who have no love which this wild rain
Has not dissolved except the love of death,
If love it be towards what is perfect and
Cannot, the tempest tells me, disappoint.
Here is another favorite of mine:
Gone, Gone Again

Gone, gone again,
May, June, July,
And August gone,
Again gone by,

Not memorable
Save that I saw them go,
As past the empty quays
The rivers flow.

And now again,
In the harvest rain,
The Blenheim oranges
Fall grubby from the trees

As when I was young -
And when the lost one was here -
And when the war began
To turn young men to dung.

Look at the old house,
Outmoded, dignified,
Dark and untenanted,
With grass growing instead

Of the footsteps of life,
The friendliness, the strife;
In its beds have lain
Youth, love, age, and pain:

I am sometimes like that;
Only I am not dead,
Still breathing and interested
In the house that is not dark: -

I am something like that:
Not one pane to reflect the sun,
For the schoolboys to throw at -
They have broken every one.

1 Comments:

Blogger Jonathan Webb said...

My God, how lovely.

7:35 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home