First World War Poetry Digital Archive

Liberty

LIBERTY by EDWARD THOMAS

The last light has gone out of the world, except This moonlight lying on the grass like frost Beyond the brink of the tall elm's shadow. It is as if everything else had slept Many an age, unforgotten and lost The men that were, the things done, long ago, All I have thought; and but the moon and I Live yet and here stand idle over a grave Where all is buried. Both have liberty To dream what we could do if we were free To do some thing we had desired long, The moon and I. There's none less free than who Does nothing and has nothing else to do, Being free only for what is not to his mind, And nothing is to his mind. If every hour Like this one passing that I have spent among The wiser others when I have forgot To wonder whether I was free or not, Were piled before me, and not lost behind, And I could take and carry them away I should be rich; or if I had the power To wipe out every one and not again Regret, I should be rich to be so poor. And yet I still am half in love with pain, With what is imperfect, with both tears and mirth, With things that have an end, with life and earth, And this moon that leaves me dark within the door.

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