Fern Hill

Read and listen to the poem 'Fern Hill' by Dylan Thomas. Listen to it being read by a native speaker of English from the south of England here.

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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.





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