R.S. Thomas



                  Autumn on the Land


A man, a field, silence—what is there to say?
He lives, he moves, and the October day
Burns slowly down.
                                 History is made
Elsewhere; the hours forfeit to time's blade
Don't matter here. The leaves large and small,
Shed by the branches, unlamented fall
About his shoulders. You may look in vain
Through the eyes' window; on his meagre hearth
The thin, shy soul has not begun its reign
Over the darkness. Beauty, love and mirth
And joy are strangers there.
                                             You must revise
Your bland philosophy of nature, earth
Has of itself no power to make men wise.


R.S. Thomas, Collected Poems: 1945-1990, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2000.