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The Manor Farm


The rock-like mud unfroze a little and rills

Ran and sparkled down each side of the road

Under the catkins wagging in the hedge.

But earth would have her sleep out, spite of the sun;

Nor did I value that thin glilding beam

More than a pretty February thing

Till I came down to the old Manor Farm,

And church and yew-tree opposite, in age

Its equals and in size.  The church and yew

And farmhouse slept slept in a Sunday silentness.

The air raised not a straw.  The steep farm roof,

With tiles duskily glowing, entertained

The mid-day sun; and up and down the roof

White pigeons nestled.  There was no sound but one.

Three cart-horses were looking over a gate

Drowsily through their forelocks, swishing their tails

Against a fly, a solitary fly.


The Winter's cheek flushed as if he had drained

Spring, Summer, and Autumn at a draught

And smiled quietly.  But 'twas not Winteró

Rather a season of bliss unchangeable

Awakened from farm and church where it had lain

Safe under tile and thatch for ages since

This England, Old already, was called Merry.


Edward Thomas




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