Thursday, 26 May 2011

No case of petty right or wrong

This is no case of petty right or wrong
That politicians or philosophers
Can judge. I hate not Germans, nor grow hot
With love of Englishmen, to please newspapers.
Beside my hate for one fat patriot
My hatred for the Kaiser is love true:-
A kind of God he is, banging a gong.
But I have not to choose between the two,
Or between justice and injustice. Dinned
With war and argument I read no more
Than in the storm smoking along the wind
Athwart the wood. Two witches' cauldrons roar.
From one the weather shall rise clear and gay;
Out of the other an England beautiful
And like her mother that died yesterday.
Little I know or care if, being dull,
I shall miss something that historians
Can rake out of the ashes when perchance
The phoenix broods serene above their ken.
But with the best and meanest Englishmen
I am one in crying, God save England, lest
We lose what never slaves and cattle blessed.
The ages made her that made us from dust:
She is all we know and live by, and we trust
She is good and must endure, loving her so:
And as we love ourselves we hate her foe.

Philip Edward Thomas was born on the 3rd March 1878 and killed in action on 9th April 1917.


  1. The pain of Edward Thomas's poetry comes through almost unbearably to me Gwilym - knowing his fate makes it even more so.

    I have just discovered Yeats's 'Lapis Lazuli' - do you know it?

  2. Hello Pat, no I didn't know it. I'll take a look.


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