First World War Poetry Digital Archive

March

’žMARCH by EDWARD THOMAS Now I know that Spring will come again, Perhaps tomorrow: however late I've patience After this night following on such a day. While still my temples ached from the cold burning Of hail and wind, and still the primroses Torn by the hail were covered up in it, The sun filled earth and heaven with a great light And a tenderness, almost warmth, where the hail dripped, As if the mighty sun wept tears of joy. But 'twas too late for warmth. The sunset piled Mountains on mountains of snow and ice in the west: Somewhere among their folds the wind was lost, And yet 'twas cold, and though I knew that Spring Would come again, I knew it had not come, That it was lost, too, in those mountains cold. What did the thrushes know? Rain, snow, sleet, hail, Had kept them quiet as the primroses. They had but an hour to sing. On boughs they sang, On gates, on ground; they sang while they changed perches And while they fought, if they remembered to fight: So ernest were they to pack into that hour Their unwilling hoard of song before the moon Grew brighter than the clouds. Then 'twas no time For singing merely. So they could keep off silence And night, they cared not what they sang or screamed, Whether 'twas hoarse of sweet or fierce or soft, And to me all was sweet: they could do no wrong. Somehow they knew---I also, while they sang And after. Not till night had half its stars And never a cloud, was I aware of silence Rich with all that riot of songs, a silence Saying that Spring returns, perhaps tomorrow.

To view other similar items in the archive click on the hyper-linked words below.