I Never Saw That Land Before
I never saw that land before, And now can never see it again; Yet, as if by acquaintance hoar Endeared, by gladness and by pain, Great was the affection that I bore To the valley and the river small, The cattle, the grass, the bare ash trees, The chickens from the farmsteads, all Elm-hidden, and the tributaries Descending at equal interval; The blackthorns down along the brook With wounds yellow as crocuses Where yesterday the labourer's hook Had sliced them cleanly; and the breeze That hinted all and nothing spoke. I neither expected anything Nor yet remembered: but some goal I touched then; and if I could sing What would not even whisper my soul As I went on my journeying, I should use, as the trees and birds did, A language not to be betrayed; And what was hid should still be hid Excepting from those like me made Who answer when such whispers bid.
This poem is in the public domain.
Philip Edward Thomas was born in London in 1878. A close friend of the poet Robert Frost, he wrote much of his poetry while serving as a soldier during World War I. He was killed in France on April 9, 1917.
Date Published: 1918-01-01
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/i-never-saw-land