Poem introduction

The poem that follows is about the village of Steep, and though it is greatly altered now, I believe the group of aspen poplars still stands at the corner, opposite The Cricketers' Arms.

Aspens

 
All day and night, save winter, every weather,
Above the inn, the smithy, and the shop,
The aspens at the cross-roads talk together
Of rain, until their last leaves fall from the top.
 
Out of the blacksmith's cavern comes the ringing
Of hammer, shoe, and anvil; out of the inn
The clink, the hum, the roar, the random singing—
The sounds that for these fifty years have been.
 
The whisper of the aspens is not drowned,
And over lightless pane and footless road,
Empty as sky, with every other sound
Not ceasing, calls their ghosts from their abode,
 
A silent smithy, a silent inn, nor fails
In the bare moonlight or the thick-furred gloom,
In tempest or the night of nightingales,
To turn the cross-roads to a ghostly room.
 
And it would be the same were no house near.
Over all sorts of weather, men, and times,
Aspens must shake their leaves and men may hear
But need not listen, more than to my rhymes.
 
Whatever wind blows, while they and I have leaves
We cannot other than an aspen be
That ceaselessly, unreasonably grieves,
Or so men think who like a different tree.
 
 

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Recordings

Edward Thomas

Edward Thomas Downloads read by Helen Thomas

1Adlestrop by Edward Thomas (read by Helen Thomas)

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2October by Edward Thomas (read by Helen Thomas)

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3The Trumpet by Edward Thomas (read by Helen Thomas)

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4Interval by Edward Thomas (read by Helen Thomas)

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5The Path by Edward Thomas (read by Helen Thomas)

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6The Glory by Edward Thomas (read by Helen Thomas)

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7Introduction to 'Old Man' by Edward Thomas (read by Helen Thomas)

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8Old Man by Edward Thomas (read by Helen Thomas)

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9Aspens by Edward Thomas (read by Helen Thomas)

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10Sowing by Edward Thomas (read by Helen Thomas)

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11Fifty Faggots by Edward Thomas (read by Helen Thomas)

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12Digging by Edward Thomas (read by Helen Thomas)

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13Words by Edward Thomas (read by Helen Thomas)

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14'If I should ever by chance ...' by Edward Thomas (read by Helen Thomas)

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15When Gorse is Out of Flower by Edward Thomas (read by Helen Thomas)

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16Lob (excerpt) by Edward Thomas (read by Helen Thomas)

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17Swedes by Edward Thomas (read by Helen Thomas)

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18Tall Nettles by Edward Thomas (read by Helen Thomas)

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19The Gallows by Edward Thomas (read by Helen Thomas)

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20Country People by Edward Thomas (read by Helen Thomas)

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21May 23 by Edward Thomas (read by Helen Thomas)

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22The Owl by Edward Thomas (read by Helen Thomas)

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23Lights Out by Edward Thomas (read by Helen Thomas)

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1The Commonwealth War Graves Commission will receive 60% of proceeds from all sales of this album.