First World War Poetry Digital Archive

The Barn and the Down

THE BARN AND THE DOWN by EDWARD THOMAS

It stood in the sunset sky Like the straight-backed down, Many a time---the barn At the edge of the town,

So huge and dark that it seemed It was the hill Till the gable's precipice proved It impossible.

Then the great down in the west Grew into sight, A barn stored full to the ridge With black of night;

And the barn fell to a barn Or even less Before critical eyes and its own Late mightiness.

But far down and near barn and I Since then have smiled, Having seen my new cautiousness By itself beguiled

To disdain what seemed the barn Till a few steps changed It past all doubt to the down; So the barn was avenged.

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