• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article


WITH a quiet subtlety of language, Edward Thomas paints a rural landscape that haunted him and may haunt the reader too.


I never saw that land before,

And now can never see it again;

Yet, as if by acquaintance hoar

Endeared, by gladness and by pain,

Great was the affection that I bore

To the valley and the river small,

The cattle, the grass, the bare ash trees,

The chickens from the farmsteads, all

Elm-hidden, and the tributaries

Descending at equal interval;

The blackthorns down along the brook

With wounds yellow as crocuses

Where yesterday the labourer's hook

Had sliced them cleanly; and the breeze

That hinted all and nothing spoke.

I neither expected anything

Nor yet remembered: but some goal

I touched then; and if I could sing

What would not even whisper my soul

As I went on my journeying.

I should use, as the trees and birds did,

A language not to be betrayed;

And what was hid should still be hid

Excepting from those like me made

Who answer when such whispers bid.

Contextual targeting label: 

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.