Edward Thomas: Adlestrop, first published in the New Statesman in 1917

The poet and essayist Edward Thomas's well-loved poem was first published in the New Statesman in June 1917, shortly after his death at the Battle of Arras.

Photo: Getty
Photo: Getty

Yes. I remember Adlestrop—
The name, because one afternoon
Of heat the express-train drew up there
Unwontedly. It was late June.

The steam hissed. Someone cleared his throat.
No one left and no one came
On the bare platform. What I saw
Was Adlestrop—only the name

And willows, willow-herb, and grass,
And meadowsweet, and haycocks dry,
No whit less still and lonely fair
Than the high cloudlets in the sky.

And for that minute a blackbird sang
Close by, and round him, mistier,
Farther and farther, all the birds
Of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.

First published in the New Statesman in April 1917

Tags:poetry