First World War Poetry Digital Archive

Beauty

BEAUTY by EDWARD THOMAS

What does it mean? Tired, angry, and ill at ease, No man, woman, or child alive could please Me now. And yet I almost dare to laugh Because I sit and frame an epitaph--- 'Here lies all that no one loved of him And that loved no one.' Then in a trice that whim Has wearied. But, though I am like a river At fall of evening while it seems that never Has the sun lighted it or warmed it, while Cross breezes cut the surface to a file, This heart, some fraction of me, happily Floats through the window even now to a tree Down in the misting, dim-lit, quiet vale, Not like a pewit that returns to wail For something it has lost, but like a dove That slants unswerving to its home and love. There I find my rest, as through the dusk air Flies what yet lives in me: Beauty is there.

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