First World War Poetry Digital Archive

Parting

PARTING by EDWARD THOMAS

The Past is a strange land, most strange. Wind blows not there, nor does rain fall: If they do, they cannot hurt at all. Men of all kinds as equals range

The soundless fields and streets of it. Pleasure and pain there have no sting, The perished self not suffering That lacks all blood and nerve and wit,

And is in shadow-land a shade. Remembered joy and misery Bring joy to the joyous equally; Both sadden the sad. So memory made

Parting today a double pain: First because it was parting; next Because the ill it ended vexed And mocked me from the Past again,

Not as what had been remedied Had I gone on,---not that, oh no! But as itself no longer woe; Sighs, angry word and look and deed

Being faded: rather a kind of bliss, For there spiritualized it lay In the perpetual yesterday That naught can stir or strain, like this.

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