First World War Poetry Digital Archive

Women He Liked

BOB'S LANE by EDWARD THOMAS

Women he liked, did shovel-bearded Bob, Old Farmer Hayward of the Heath, but he Loved horses. He himself was like a cob, And leather-coloured. Also he loved a tree.

For the life in them he loved most living things, But a tree chiefly. All along the lane He planted elms where now the stormcock sings That travellers hear from the slow-climbing train.

Till then the track had never had a name For all its thicket and the nightingales That should have earned it. No one was to blame. To name a thing beloved man sometimes fails.

Many years since, Bob Hayward died, and now None passes there because the mist and the rain Out of the elms have turned the lane to slough And gloom, the name alone survives, Bob's Lane.

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