First World War Poetry Digital Archive

October

OCTOBER by EDWARD THOMAS

The green elm with the one great bough of gold Lets leaves into the grass slip, one by one.--- The short hill grass, the mushrooms small milk-white, Harebell and scabious and tormentil, That blackberry and gorse, in dew and sun, Bow down to; and the wind travels too light To shake the fallen birch leaves from the fern; The gossamers wander at their own will. At heavier steps than birds' the squirrels scold.

The late year has grown fresh again and new As Spring, and to the touch is not more cool Than it is warm to the gaze; and now I might As happy be as earth is beautiful, Were I some other or with earth could turn In alternation of violet and rose, Harebell and snowdrop, at their season due, And gorse that has no time not to be gay. But if this be not happiness, who knows? Some day I shall think this a happy day, And this mood by the name of melancholy Shall no more blackened and obscured be.

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