First World War Poetry Digital Archive

Written In A Wood, September 1910

WRITTEN IN A WOOD, SEPTEMBER 1910 by WILFRED OWEN

Full ninety autumns bath this ancient beech Helped with its myriad leafy tongues to swell The dirges of the deep-toned western gale, And ninety times hath all its power of speech Been stricken dumb, at sound of winter's yell, Since Adonais, no more strong and hale, Might have rejoiced to linger here and teach His thoughts in sonnets to the listening dell; Or glide in fancy through those leafy grots And bird-pavilions hung with arras green, To hear the sonnets of its minstrel choir. Ah, ninety times again, when autumn rots Shall birds and leaves be mute and all unseen, Yet shall I see fair Keats, and hear his lyre.

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