I see the boys of summer in their ruin Lay the gold tithings barren, Setting no store by harvest, freeze the soils; There in their heat the winter floods Of frozen loves they fetch their girls, And drown the cargoed apples in their tides. These boys of light are curdlers in their folly, Sour the boiling honey; The jacks of frost they finger in the hives; There in the sun the frigid threads Of doubt and dark they feed their nerves; The signal moon is zero in their voids. I see the summer children in their mothers Split up the brawned womb's weathers, Divide the night and day with fairy thumbs; There in the deep with quartered shades Of sun and moon they paint their dams As sunlight paints the shelling of their heads. I see that from these boys shall men of nothing Stature by seedy shifting, Or lame the air with leaping from its heats; There from their hearts the dogdayed pulse Of love and light bursts in their throats. O see the pulse of summer in the ice.
But seasons must be challenged or they totter Into a chiming quarter Where, punctual as death, we ring the stars; There, in his night, the black-tongued bells The sleepy man of winter pulls, Nor blows back moon-and-midnight as she blows. We are the dark derniers let us summon Death from a summer woman, A muscling life from lovers in their cramp From the fair dead who flush the sea The bright-eyed worm on Davy's lamp And from the planted womb the man of straw. We summer boys in this four-winded spinning, Green of the seaweeds' iron, Hold up the noisy sea and drop her birds, Pick the world's ball of wave and froth To choke the deserts with her tides, And comb the county gardens for a wreath. In spring we cross our foreheads with the holly, Heigh ho the blood and berry, And nail the merry squires to the trees; Here love's damp muscle dries and dies Here break a kiss in no love's quarry, O see the poles of promise in the boys.
I see you boys of summer in your ruin. Man in his maggot's barren. And boys are full and foreign to the pouch. I am the man your father was. We are the sons of flint and pitch. O see the poles are kissing as they cross.
from The Poems of Dylan Thomas. Copyright © 1939 by New Directions Publishing Corporation. Reprinted by permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation. All rights reserved.