Only the title of this poem, Lights Out, indicates that Edward Thomas is writing from his army post. He talks of sleep but the bleakness of his thoughts could also indicate a brooding about the final ‘lights out’.

          LIGHTS OUT

I have come to the borders of sleep,

The unfathomable deep

Forest, where all must lose

Their way, however straight

Or winding, soon or late;

They cannot choose.


Many a road and track

That since the dawn’s first crack

Up to the forest brink

Deceived the travellers,

Suddenly now blurs,

And in they sink.


Here love ends –

Despair, ambition ends;

All pleasure and all trouble.

Although most sweet or bitter,

Here ends, in sleep that is sweeter

Than tasks most noble.


There is not any book

Or face of dearest look

That I would not turn from now

To go into the unknown

I must enter, and leave, alone,

I know not how.


The tall forest towers:

Its cloudy foliage lowers

Ahead, shelf above shelf:

Its silence I hear and obey

That I may lose my way

And myself.