First World War Poetry Digital Archive

Good-Night

GOOD-NIGHT by EDWARD THOMAS

The skylarks are far behind that sang over the down; I can hear no more those suburb nightingales; Thrushes and blackbirds sing in the gardens of the town In vain: the noise of man, beast, and machine prevails.

But the call of children in the unfamiliar streets That echo with a familiar twilight echoing, Sweet as the voice of nightingale or lark, completes A magic of strange welcome, so that I seem a king

Among man, beast, machine, bird, child, and the ghost That in the echo lives and with the echo dies. The friendless town is friendly; homeless, I am not lost; Though I know none of these doors, and meet but strangers' eyes.

Never again, perhaps, after tomorrow, shall I see these homely streets, these church windows alight, Not a man or woman or child among them all: But it is All Friends' Night, a traveller's good night.

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