First World War Poetry Digital Archive

Over the Hills


Often and often it came back again To mind, the day I passed the horizon ridge To a new country, the path I had to find By half-gaps that were stiles once in the hedge, The pack of scarlet clouds running across The harvest evening that seemed endless then And after, and the inn where all were kind, All were strangers. I did not know my loss Till one day twelve months later suddenly I leaned upon my spade and saw it all, Though far beyond the sky-line. It became Almost a habit through the year for me To lean and see it and think to do the same Again for two days and a night. Recall Was vain: no move could the restless brook Ever turn back and climb the waterfall To the lake that rests and stirs not in its nook, As in the hollow of the collar-bone Under the mountain's head of rush and stone.

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