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Fern Hill

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Now as I was young and easy under the apple boughs
About the lilting house and happy as the grass was green,
The night above the dingle starry,
Time let me hail and climb
Golden in the heydays of his eyes,
And 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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COMMENTS
Jane Morgan 07 July 2020
This poem is among a few that continues to sing to my spirit almost fifty years after my first reading, the beauty of the language and the sheer joy of youth continues to enthrall me. This for me is a wonderful poem.
19 0 Reply
James Waese 18 December 2020
I first read Fern Hill my first year in college. It has stayed with me for 40 years. The theme, the paradox of being young but also dying, has always struck me as so exquisitely bittersweet and melancholy. Unforgettable.
0 0 Reply
michael walker. 11 August 2019
I still recall teaching this lyrical poem to a sixth form class, who liked it-as I did. Thomas gives idyllic memories of his childhood, with striking images, ' I was prince of the apple towns'. That reminded me of picking apples in someone's orchard, unknown to the owner. 'Time held me green and dying/ Though I sang in my chains like the sea'.
47 2 Reply
Shaun Cronick 01 July 2019
Brilliant Dylan Thomas.You sir are once in a lifetime.
78 1 Reply
james charles 30 June 2019
This ' sucks. It's not 'deep' its just confusing and lacking of a meaning or point. I have severe insomnia, and this actually put me to sleep for once. Thank you Dylan Thomas for sucking so much hairy monkey rock that you can cure people's sleeping troubles.
3 73 Reply
Adeeb Alfateh 30 June 2019
All the moon long I heard, blessed among stables, the nightjars Flying with the ricks, and the horses Flashing into the dark. great great write great 10+++++++++++++++++++++++++
42 11 Reply
His is an amazing poem written by Dylan Thomas. This is Rich and full of amazing imagery
51 5 Reply
Barry Jackman 26 January 2019
Myra Morgan introduced me to Dylan Thomas fifty years ago. The richness of his imagery continues to grow over the years.
60 1 Reply
James M 20 December 2018
As a simple soul myself I find this poem quite difficult.For me AE Houseman’s ‘Into My Heart An Air That Kills’, from ‘A Shropshire Lad’ says everything in eight simple, beautiful lines.No matter how many times I read it, it never fails to bring a lump to my throat or a tear to my eye (usually both) .i love Dylan Thomas, ’Under Milk Wood’ is magical, but Houseman wins this one.
55 1 Reply
Deidre Huestis 28 February 2019
Yes, but Fern Hill ends with " though I sang in my chains like the sea" rather than discontent. Fern Hill seems to me a deeper more complex poem
0 1 Reply
C. McShane 15 November 2018
A wonderful nostalgic memory of carefree childhood untrammelled by the guilt and decadence of Pleasures which become soured as age propels you away from lost innocence. Favourite poem.
61 2 Reply
ginny mcguire 04 October 2018
i like under milk wood by dylan tohmas i think it is relley good
61 2 Reply

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