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
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
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
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
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

  • (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

    2 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • (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

  • (7/11/2017 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.

  • (8/26/2012 10:59:00 AM)

    This is just about my favourite poem of the 20th century.
    If you love Dylan, read my poem 'Portrait of Dylan' posted today.
    (Report) Reply

  • (2/2/2012 1:07:00 PM)

    yo dis poem is mad long n i aint got 2 year fo dis. (Report) Reply

    Greg Bell (2/23/2017 3:08:00 PM)

    Will, dude, I won't comment about what it might mean that you would have to take 2 year fo dis, but you might consider taking 2 minutes to READ IT OUT LOUD. Nuff said

  • Sylva Portoian (3/1/2010 5:48:00 AM)

    I feel some readers don't understand Dylan's stanzas
    And give marks with confidence!

    I will never say please...
    If you don't understand don't assess
    No one asked you to do!

    His I.Q is higher than yours
    You can't read his soul
    His Soul is full of beauty
    Is more purer than a saint
    And his spirit not every one can reach
    Hence... to assess!

    I remain speachless...

    I'm trying to communice with some of his to soul
    I hope I shall...
    I hope I can treat his Darted Heart
    So Innocent so True.

    © Sylva Portoian, MD
    Written Instantly
    (Report) Reply

  • (2/18/2009 9:12:00 PM)

    The Welsh poet, Dylan Thomas, was one of the great writers of childhood and there are a number of his evocations on poethunter.com. By popular consent this is his finest. Perhaps this is so because at the conclusion he is forced to lament the passing of his childhood, 'Oh 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.' The poem is not faultless and does perhaps overdo slightly the repetiton of certain phrases, but it nevertheless glows with the most wonderful color, green and gold principally, and is shot through with many of the magical metaphors for which Thomas was famous. I had great difficulty choosing just one of Dylan Thomas' poems to go into my list of favorite poets (I had decided that in the interests of fairness I would only include one from each writer) . His two on the theme of death, 'And Death shall have no Dominion' and ' Do Not Go Gently into that Good Night' came very close and I might somewhat mischievously have chosen the whole of the unique 'Under Milk Wood' but in the end it had to be this. (Report) Reply

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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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