Fern Hill

Dylan Thomas 1914 (Swansea) – 1953 (Greenwich Village)



Now as I was young and easy under the apple boughs
About the lilting house and happy as the grass was green,
   honoured among wagons I was prince of the apple towns
And once below a time I lordly had the trees and leaves
     Trail with daisies and barley
   Down the rivers of the windfall light.

And as I was green and carefree, famous among the barns
About the happy yard and singing as the farm was home,
   In the sun that is young once only,
     Time let me play and be
   Golden in the mercy of his means,
And green and golden I was huntsman and herdsman, the calves
Sang to my horn, the foxes on the hills barked clear and cold,
     And the sabbath rang slowly
   In the pebbles of the holy streams.

All the sun long it was running, it was lovely, the hay
Fields high as the house, the tunes from the chimneys, it was air
And playing, lovely and watery
And fire green as grass.
And nightly under the simple stars
As I rode to sleep the owls were bearing the farm away,
All the moon long I heard, blessed among stables, the nightjars
   Flying with the ricks, and the horses
     Flashing into the dark.

And then to awake, and the farm, like a wanderer white
With the dew, come back, the cock on his shoulder: it was all
   Shining, it was Adam and maiden,
     The sky gathered again
   And the sun grew round that very day.
So it must have been after the birth of the simple light
In the first, spinning place, the spellbound horses walking warm
   Out of the whinnying green stable
     On to the fields of praise.

And honoured among foxes and pheasants by the gay house
Under the new made clouds and happy as the heart was long,
   In the sun born over and over,
     I ran my heedless ways,
My wishes raced through the house high hay
And nothing I cared, at my sky blue trades, that time allows
In all his tuneful turning so few and such morning songs
   Before the children green and golden
     Follow him out of grace,

Nothing I cared, in the lamb white days, that time would take me
Up to the swallow thronged loft by the shadow of my hand,
   In the moon that is always rising,
     Nor that riding to sleep
   I should hear him fly with the high fields
And wake to the farm forever fled from the childless land.
Oh as I was young and easy in the mercy of his means,
     Time held me green and dying
   Though I sang in my chains like the sea.
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Submitted by MoonInworld on May 15, 2021

Modified on May 03, 2023

2:14 min read
1,916

Quick analysis:

Scheme AXXXBC XXBBDXXBX EXBXXEAXX CXFXECXXG XXXGEAXFX BHIXXHDIB
Closest metre Iambic pentameter
Characters 2,314
Words 447
Stanzas 6
Stanza Lengths 6, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9

Dylan Thomas

Dylan Marlais Thomas (27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953) was a Welsh poet and writer whose works include the poems "Do not go gentle into that good night" and "And death shall have no dominion", the "play for voices", Under Milk Wood, and stories and radio broadcasts such as A Child's Christmas in Wales and Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog. He became popular in his lifetime and remained so after his premature death in New York. In his later life he acquired a reputation, which he encouraged, as a "roistering, drunken and doomed poet". more…

All Dylan Thomas poems | Dylan Thomas Books

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