First World War Poetry Digital Archive

The Ash Grove

THE ASH GROVE by EDWARD THOMAS

Half of the grove stood dead, and those that yet lived made Little more than the dead ones made of shade. If they led to a house, long before they had seen its fall: But they welcomed me; I was glad without cause and delayed.

Scarce a hundred paces under the trees was the interval--- Paces each sweeter than sweetest miles---but nothing at all, Not even the spirits of memory and fear with restless wing, Could climb down in to molest me over the wall

That I passed through at either end without noticing. And now an ash grove far from those hills can bring The same tranquillity in which I wander a ghost With a ghostly gladness, as if I heard a girl sing

The song of the Ash Grove soft as love uncrossed, And then in a crowd or in distance it were lost, But the moment unveiled something unwilling to die And I had what most I desired, without search or desert or cost.

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