Dylan Thomas

(27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953 / Swansea / Wales)

Fern Hill - Poem by Dylan Thomas

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.


Comments about Fern Hill by Dylan Thomas

  • (10/4/2018 12:00:00 PM)


    i like under milk wood by dylan tohmas i think it is relley good (Report) Reply

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  • (9/3/2018 8:08:00 AM)


    If I wrote like that, I would be lambasted. Terrible. (Report) Reply

  • (6/11/2018 10:45:00 AM)


    I was thinking about this poem at my Grandson's 4th birthday party, and the phrase 'green, and dying'- because they are already on a one way course to old age- seemed really apt. (Report) Reply

  • (5/30/2018 6:49:00 PM)


    Simply one of the purest and most musical of poems. Magical, breathlessly sonic and soulful, to be read again and again. (Report) Reply

  • (2/10/2018 3:44:00 PM)


    As a child I regularly visited my great-uncle's farm in the Yorkshire Dales, UK. This poem so completely recreates that time that although I was a professional reader I cannot speak Fern Hill aloud without choking up. (Report) Reply

  • (1/8/2018 8:50:00 PM)


    I could smell the hay, feel the breeze, and run with the wind on Fern Farm. Good to have memories to cozy up to and take you away for a moment. (Report) Reply

  • (12/5/2017 6:35:00 AM)


    One thing i observed, his fondness to natural environment is vividly reflected in this poem. (Report) Reply

  • (12/4/2017 6:02:00 AM)


    u guys are idiots and should rethink your whole lives while u actually read poems (Report) Reply

    (7/6/2018 9:29:00 PM)

    I'll put a girdle round about your micro-mind in forty femtoseconds

  • (7/11/2017 11:48:00 AM)


    One of Dylan Thomas's best poems. The sheer delight of childhood imagination just pours from this poem. But the stealthy thief of childhood, time, lurks in the background (Report) Reply

  • Tapan M. Saren (4/16/2017 12:06:00 AM)


    Lovely poem............. (Report) Reply

  • Bill Crane (9/28/2016 6:56:00 PM)

    Bill Crane
    I recall how this poem moved me when I was in my early twenties (mid 1960s) , engaging me to challenge those physical, moral and social boundaries of my youth like so many of my contemporaries. Reading it now in my 70's reinvigorates my spirit: I am still young and easy and grateful that Time let me play and be
    Golden in the mercy of his means.
    (Report) Reply

  • (3/10/2016 1:52:00 PM)


    Be sure to watch the movie SHADOWLANDS starring Welshman, Anthony Hopkins as C.S. Lewis, who wrote Narnia among other things. In the movie, young Douglas Gresham, having just lost his mother, then finds the freedom of his childhood when he's taken under the wing of Lewis [Hopkins]. (Report) Reply

  • (2/20/2016 3:08:00 PM)


    I have loved this poem all of my life. Now that I am in my sixties, I can see that the poem laments more than the passing of the innocence of childhood... it is about time itself, and how time has a way of stealing all that we hold dear while we are not looking; yes, we are happy enjoying a period of our lives; but always time is moving us on and as someone once said We shall never be (exactly) here again so, realize this and savor the moment...to me this is what Dylan Thomas is talking about - Time itself, and the loss of innocence, childhood and the feeling that people and things last forever.
    Susan Kutner
    (Report) Reply

    (1/7/2017 8:43:00 PM)

    Can you talk more about this poem? I am a Chinese and i want to know more about it. I thik there are three themes: yearning for the lost childhood, the love for hometown and the view to life and death. Am i right?

    (1/7/2017 8:39:00 PM)

    Can you talk more about this peom. I am a Chinese and i want to know more about it.I think there are three themes: yarning for the lost childhood, the love for hometown, the view to life and death.Am i right?

    (3/10/2016 1:42:00 PM)

    Perhaps my tears are the prism that I need to find the rainbow that is me.

  • (2/9/2016 1:26:00 PM)


    The prose is undeniably beautiful, however I suspect the theme is the true spiritual nature of mankind rather than childhood alone. I surrender to the lyric - it touches my soul. (Report) Reply

  • Anton K (11/9/2015 12:09:00 PM)


    There are very few times that written words have reduced me to breathlessness, but this is precisely what has happened to me. Dylan Thomas has earned his place among the immortal poets. (Report) Reply

    (2/20/2016 3:11:00 PM)

    Anton, this poem always reduces me to tears...
    Susan Kutner

  • Thomas Case (8/11/2015 5:44:00 PM)


    beautiful poem about childhood and growing up. (Report) Reply

  • (6/9/2015 2:58:00 PM)


    One of my very most favorites. Has remained in my mind for years. Yes, it is haunting. A typical lost childhood poem. (Report) Reply

  • (6/22/2014 8:48:00 PM)


    ................this one reads like a haunting memory.....very nicely written.. (Report) Reply

  • Brian Jani (4/26/2014 1:40:00 AM)


    Awesome I like this poem, check mine oit (Report) Reply

  • Greg Bell (12/18/2013 8:14:00 PM)


    Oh, what a lovely, haunting, haunted poem of the exuberance of youth, full of discovery, and the inevitable loss of innocence. Could be my favorite poem, if not the best ever penned. (Report) Reply

    (10/17/2015 7:24:00 AM)

    You've put it so beautifully, Gregory, and I absolutely agree with you.

Read all 34 comments »

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Read poems about / on: green, house, happy, moon, sun, sleep, running, birth, sky, time, children, light, fire, home, sea, dark, horse, child, river, rose



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003



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