First World War Poetry Digital Archive

The Sun Used to Shine

THE SUN USED TO SHINE by EDWARD THOMAS

The sun used to shine while we two walked Slowly together, paused and started Again, and sometimes mused, sometimes talked As either pleased, and cheerfully parted

Each night. We never disagreed Which gate to rest on. The to be And the late past we gave small heed. We turned from men or poetry

To rumours of the war remote Only all both stood disinclined For aught but the yellow flavorous coat Of an apple wasps had undermined;

Or a sentry of dark betonies, The stateliest of small flowers on earth, At the forest verge; or crocuses Pale purple as if they had their birth

In sunless Hades fields. The war Came back to mind with the moonrise Which soldiers in the east afar Beheld then. Nevertheless, our eyes

Could as well imagine the Crusades Or Cæsar's battles. Everything To faintness like those rumours fades--- Like the brook's water glittering

Under the moonlight---like those walks Now---like us two that took them, and The fallen apples, all the talks And silences---like memory's sand

When the tide covers it late or soon, And other men through other flowers In those fields under the same moon Go talking and have easy hours.

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