First World War Poetry Digital Archive

The Manor Farm

THE MANOR FARM by EDWARD THOMAS

The rock-like mud unfroze a little and rills Ran and sparkled down each side of the road Under the catkins wagging in the hedge. But earth would have her sleep out, spite of the sun; Nor did I value that thin gilding beam More than a pretty February thing Till I came down to the old Manor Farm, And church and yew-tree opposite, in age Its equals and in size. Small church, great yew, And farmhouse slept in a Sunday silentness. The air raised not a straw. The steep farm roof, With tiles duskily glowing, entertained The midday sun; and up and down the roof White pigeons nestled. There was no sound but one. Three cart-horses were looking over a gate Drowsily through their forelocks, swishing their tails Against a fly, a solitary fly.

The Winter's cheek flushed as if he had drained Spring, Summer, and Autumn at a draught And smiled quietly. But 'twas not Winter--- Rather a season of bliss unchangeable Awakened from farm and church where it had lain Safe under tile and thatch for ages since This England, Old already, was called Merry.

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