I Never Saw that Land Before
[I NEVER SAW THAT LAND BEFORE] by EDWARD THOMAS
I never saw that land before, And now can never see it again; Yet, as if by acquaintance hoar Endeared, by gladness and by pain, Great was the affection that I bore
To the valley and the river small, The cattle, the grass, the bare ash trees, The chickens from the farmsteads, all Elm-hidden, and the tributaries Descending at equal interval;
The blackthorns down along the brook With wounds yellow as crocuses Where yesterday the labourer's hook Had sliced them cleanly; and the breeze That hinted all and nothing spoke.
I neither expected anything Nor yet remembered: but some goal I touched then; and if I could sing What would not even whisper my soul As I went on my journeying,
I should use, as the trees and birds did, A language not to be betrayed; And what was hid should still be hid Excepting from those like me made Who answer when such whispers bid.
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|Author||Thomas, Edward (1878-1917)|
|Title||I Never Saw that Land Before|
|Copyright||Copyright Edward Thomas, 1979, reproduced under licence from Faber and Faber Ltd.|
|First line||I never saw that land before,|
|Publication source||Edward Thomas Collected Poems|
|Publication editor||Thomas, George|
|Publishers||Faber and Faber|
|Digital repository||The First World War Poetry Digital Archive|