First World War Poetry Digital Archive

Swedes

SWEDES by EDWARD THOMAS

They have taken the gable from the roof of clay On the long swede pile. They have let in the sun To the white and gold and purple of curled fronds Unsunned. It is a sight more tender-gorgeous At the wood-corner where Winter moans and drips Than when, in the Valley of the Tombs of Kings, A boy crawls down into a Pharaoh's tomb And, first of Christian men, beholds the mummy, God and monkey, chariot and throne and vase, Blue pottery, alabaster, and gold.

But dreamless long-dead Amen-hotep lies. This is a dream of Winter, sweet as Spring.

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