First World War Poetry Digital Archive

An Old Song

AN OLD SONG by EDWARD THOMAS

I was not apprenticed nor ever dwelt in famous Lincolnshire; I've served one master ill and well much more than seven year; And never took up to poaching as you shall quickly find; But 'tis my delight of a shiny night in the season of the year.

I roamed where nobody had a right but keepers and squires, and there I sought for nests, wild flowers, oak sticks, and moles, both
far and near, And had to run from farmers, and learnt the Lincolnshire song: 'Oh, 'tis my delight of a shiny night in the season of the year.'

I took those walks years after, talking with friend or dear, Or solitary musing; but when the moon shone clear I had no joy or sorrow that could not be expressed By ''Tis my delight of a shiny night in the season of the year.'

Since then I've thrown away a chance to fight a gamekeeper; And I less often trespass, and what I see or hear Is mostly from the road or path by day: yet still I sing: 'Oh, 'tis my delight of a shiny night in the season of the year.'

For if I am contented, at home or anywhere, Or if I sigh for I know not what, or my heart beats with some fear, It is a strange kind of delight to sing or whistle just: 'Oh, 'tis my delight of a shiny night in the season of the year.'

And with this melody on my lips and no one by to care, Indoors, or out on shiny nights or dark in open air, I am for a moment made a man that sings out of his heart: 'Oh, 'tis my delight of a shiny night in the season of the year.'

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