Roads

By Edward Thomas 1878–1917 Edward Thomas
I love roads:
The goddesses that dwell
Far along invisible
Are my favorite gods.
Roads go on
While we forget, and are
Forgotten like a star
That shoots and is gone.
On this earth 'tis sure
We men have not made             
Anything that doth fade
So soon, so long endure:
The hill road wet with rain
In the sun would not gleam
Like a winding stream
If we trod it not again.
They are lonely
While we sleep, lonelier
For lack of the traveller
Who is now a dream only. 
                
From dawn's twilight
And all the clouds like sheep
On the mountains of sleep
They wind into the night.
The next turn may reveal
Heaven: upon the crest
The close pine clump, at rest
Ancl black, may Hell conceal.
Often footsore, never
Yet of the road I weary,                  
Though long and steep and dreary,
As it winds on for ever.
Helen of the roads,
The mountain ways of Wales
And the Mabinogion tales,
Is one of the true gods,
Abiding in the trees,
The threes and fours so wise,
The larger companies,
That by the roadside be,
And beneath the rafter
Else uninhabited
Excepting by the dead;
And it is her laughter
At morn and night I hear
When the thrush cock sings
Bright irrelevant things,
And when the chanticleer
Calls back to their own night
Troops that make loneliness
With their light footsteps’ press,
As Helen’s own are light.
Now all roads lead to France
And heavy is the tread
Of the living; but the dead
Returning lightly dance:
Whatever the road bring
To me or take from me,
They keep me company
With their pattering,
Crowding the solitude
Of the loops over the downs,
Hushing the roar of towns
and their brief multitude.
 

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Poet Edward Thomas 1878–1917

POET’S REGION England

Subjects Social Commentaries, Town & Country Life, War & Conflict, Mythology & Folklore, Greek & Roman Mythology

Poetic Terms Quatrain, Rhymed Stanza

 Edward  Thomas

Biography

Such prominent critics and authors as Walter de la Mare, Aldous Huxley, Peter SacksSeamus Heaney, and Edna Longley have called Edward Thomas one of England's most important poets. Since 2000, much serious consideration has been given to Thomas's work. Most critics would agree with Andrew Motion, who states that Thomas occupies "a crucial place in the development of twentieth-century poetry" for introducing a modern . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Social Commentaries, Town & Country Life, War & Conflict, Mythology & Folklore, Greek & Roman Mythology

POET’S REGION England

Poetic Terms Quatrain, Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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