By Edward Thomas

Out of us all
That make rhymes, 
Will you choose 
Sometimes –
As the winds use
A crack in a wall
Or a drain,
Their joy or their pain 
To whistle through –
Choose me,
You English words?
I know you:
You are light as dreams, 
Tough as oak, 
Precious as gold,
As poppies and corn, 
Or an old cloak; 
Sweet as our birds
To the ear,
As the burnet rose
In the heat
Of Midsummer:
Strange as the races
Of dead and unborn: 
Strange and sweet
And familiar,
To the eye,
As the dearest faces
That a man knows,
And as lost homes are:
But though older far
Than oldest yew –
As our hills are, old –
Worn new
Again and again:
Young as our streams
After rain:
And as dear
As the earth which you prove 
That we love.
Make me content
With some sweetness
From Wales,
Whose nightingales
Have no wings –
From Wiltshire and Kent 
And Herefordshire,
And the villages there –
From the names, and the things 
No less.
Let me sometimes dance 
With you,
Or climb,
Or stand perchance
In ecstasy,
Fixed and free
In a rhyme,
As poets do.


From 101 Poems for Children, chosen by Carol Ann Duffy and illustrated by Emily Gravett. 


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