The Sun Used to Shine

The sun used to shine while we two walked
Slowly together, paused and started
Again, and sometimes mused, sometimes talked
As either pleased, and cheerfully parted
Each night. We never disagreed
Which gate to rest on. The to be
And the late past we gave small heed.
We turned from men or poetry
To rumours of the war remote
Only till both stood disinclined
For aught but the yellow flavorous coat
Of an apple wasps had undermined;
Or a sentry of dark betonies,
The stateliest of small flowers on earth,
At the forest verge; or crocuses
Pale purple as if they had their birth
In sunless Hades fields. The war
Came back to mind with the moonrise
Which soldiers in the east afar
Beheld then. Nevertheless, our eyes
Could as well imagine the Crusades
Or Caesar's battles. Everything
To faintness like those rumours fade—
Like the brook's water glittering
Under the moonlight—like those walks
Now—like us two that took them, and
The fallen apples, all the talks
And silence—like memory's sand
When the tide covers it late or soon,
And other men through other flowers
In those fields under the same moon
Go talking and have easy hours.

More Poems by Edward Thomas