Skip to main content
By Edward Thomas

Downhill I came, hungry, and yet not starved;

Cold, yet had heat within me that was proof

Against the North wind; tired, yet so that rest

Had seemed the sweetest thing under a roof.


Then at the inn I had food, fire, and rest,

Knowing how hungry, cold, and tired was I.

All of the night was quite barred out except

An owl’s cry, a most melancholy cry


Shaken out long and clear upon the hill,

No merry note, nor cause of merriment,

But one telling me plain what I escaped

And others could not, that night, as in I went.


And salted was my food, and my repose,

Salted and sobered, too, by the bird’s voice

Speaking for all who lay under the stars,

Soldiers and poor, unable to rejoice.


Source: Poems (1917)

Poet Bio

Born in London and educated at Oxford University, Edward Thomas worked long hours as a contract writer to support his young family. He struck up a friendship with a new neighbor, then-unknown poet Robert Frost, who persuaded Thomas to give poetry a try. Under the pseudonym Edward Eastaway, Thomas published the volume Six Poems (1916) and composed more than 100 other poems. He died in the Battle of Arras in World War I.

More By This Poet

More Poems about Activities

Browse poems about Activities

More Poems about Nature

Browse poems about Nature

More Poems about Social Commentaries

Browse poems about Social Commentaries