Edward Thomas

by Toby Darling

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These are all poems by Edward Thomas which I have set to music.

I have made videos for all of these settings which can be found at:


released June 20, 2015

Poems by Edward Thomas
Music by Toby Darling
All instruments programmed/played by Toby Darling
Produced using Cubasis VST.




Toby Darling Winchester, UK

Amateur enthusiast.
Feel free to do anything you want with these tracks, I am not interested in making money from music.

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Track Name: Like The Touch of Rain
Like The Touch of Rain

Intro F/A F/E Dm E7 x2

F/A F/E D9 E7
Like the touch of rain she was
Am G E7
On a man's flesh and hair and eyes
Am Dm7 Em Dm7
When the joy of walking thus
Am G E7
Has taken him by surprise:

With the love of the storm he burns,
Dm7 Em Am G E7
He sings, he laughs, well I know how,
But forgets when he returns
Dm7 Em Am G E7
As I shall not forget her 'Go now'.

Those two words shut a door
Between me and the blessed rain
That was never shut before
And will not open again.

Edward Thomas

F/A = xx756x
F/E = x7x56x
Dm = x577xx
E7 = x7675x
Track Name: Adlestrop
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.
Track Name: Words
Words (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.
Track Name: Home
Home [“Often I had gone this way before”]
Intro: Dm C Gm, Dm C Dm

Dm C Gm
Often I had gone this way before:
But now it seemed I never could be
And never had been anywhere else;
F Gm
'Twas home; one nationality
Am Gm
We had, I and the birds that sang,
One memory.

They welcomed me. I had come back
That eve somehow from somewhere far:
The April mist, the chill, the calm,
Meant the same thing familiar
And pleasant to us, and strange too,
Yet with no bar.

Bb Am Dm
The thrush on the oaktop in the lane
C Bb
Sang his last song, or last but one;
Am Gm
And as he ended, on the elm
Bb C Dm
Another had but just begun
C Bb
His last; they knew no more than I
C Dm
The day was done.

Then past his dark white cottage front
A labourer went along, his tread
Slow, half with weariness, half with ease;
And, through the silence, from his shed
The sound of sawing rounded all
That silence said.
Track Name: Beauty

WHAT does it mean? Tired, angry, and ill at ease,
No man, woman, or child alive could please
Me now. And yet I almost dare to laugh
Because I sit and frame an epitaph--
"Here lies all that no one loved of him
And that loved no one." Then in a trice that whim
Has wearied. But, though I am like a river
At fall of evening when it seems that never
Has the sun lighted it or warmed it, while
Cross breezes cut the surface to a file,
This heart, some fraction of me, hapily
Floats through a window even now to a tree
Down in the misting, dim-lit, quiet vale;
Not like a pewit that returns to wail
For something it has lost, but like a dove
That slants unanswering to its home and love.
There I find my rest, and through the dusk air
Flies what yet lives in me. Beauty is there
Edward Thomas
Track Name: The Sorrow of True Love
The Sorrow of True Love

Am C G Dm
The sorrow of true love is a great sorrow
Am G F Am
And true love parting blackens a bright morrow:
Am Dm G Dm
Yet almost they equal joys, since their despair
Dm Em Bb F
Is but hope blinded by its tears, and clear
Am Dm Am Dm G Dm G Dm
Above the storm the heavens wait to be seen.
F C Dm Am
But greater sorrow from less love has been
F C Dm G
That can mistake lack of despair for hope
Bb C Dm G
And knows not tempest and the perfect scope
Am Dm Am Dm Am Dm Am Dm
Of summer, but a frozen drizzle perpetual
F C Dm Am
Of drops that from remorse and pity fall
Bb C Dm F
And cannot ever shine in the sun or thaw,
Dm Am Bb C Dm
Removed eternally from the sun’s law.
Track Name: Rain

Rain, midnight rain, nothing but the wild rain
On this bleak hut, and solitude, and me
Remembering again that I shall die
And neither hear the rain nor give it thanks
For washing me cleaner than I have been
Since I was born into this solitude.
Blessed are the dead that the rain rains upon:
But here I pray that none whom once I loved
Is dying to-night or lying still awake
Solitary, listening to the rain,
Either in pain or thus in sympathy
Helpless among the living and the dead,
Like a cold water among broken reeds,
Myriads of broken reeds all still and stiff,
Like me who have no love which this wild rain
Has not dissolved except the love of death,
If love it be towards what is perfect and
Cannot, the tempest tells me, disappoint.
Track Name: The New House
THE NEW HOUSE (Edward Thomas)
Intro: F#m Bm A E F#m Bm A C#7

F#m Bm
Now first, as I shut the door,
I was alone
In the new house; and the wind
Began to moan.

F#m Bm
Old at once was the house,
And I was old;
F#m Bm
My ears were teased with the dread
Of what was foretold,

A G D Em
Nights of storm, days of mist, without end;
F#m Bm
Sad days when the sun
D Em C#m F#m
Shone in vain: old griefs and griefs
C#m F#
Not yet begun.

Intro instrumental

All was foretold me; naught
Em F#m
Could I foresee;
Bm A
But I learned how the wind would sound
Em A
After these things should be.

Intro Instrumental end on F#m
Track Name: The Owl
The Owl
F#maj7 Emaj7 G#m F#
Downhill I came, hungry, and yet not starved;
B A G#m
Cold, yet had heat within me that was proof
F#maj7 Emaj7 G#m F#
Against the North wind; tired, yet so that rest
B A G#m
Had seemed the sweetest thing under a roof.

C#m G#m F#
Then at the inn I had food, fire, and rest,
C#m B F#m
Knowing how hungry, cold, and tired was I.
All of the night was quite barred out except
Em Bm x4
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.
Track Name: Tears
Tears by Edward Thomas

Intro: G D6 Am9 (3xx03x, xx0202, x0200x) x4

G Em D
IT seems I have no tears left. They should have fallen--
D Em
Their ghosts, if tears have ghosts, did fall--that day
G Bm7 C
When twenty hounds streamed by me, not yet combed out
Am G
But still all equals in their rage of gladness
Em D
Upon the scent, made one, like a great dragon
Am C G
In Blooming Meadow that bends towards the sun
D Am
And once bore hops: and on that other day
When I stepped out from the double-shadowed Tower
G Bm
Into an April morning, stirring and sweet
C Am G
And warm. Strange solitude was there and silence.
A mightier charm than any in the Tower
D Am
Possessed the courtyard. They were changing guard
Soldiers in line, young English countrymen,
Am F C F#m
Fair-haired and ruddy, in white tunics. Drums
Bm F#m Bm
And fifes were playing "The British Grenadiers".
The men, the music piercing that solitude
Am F#m Bm F#m Bm
And silence, told me truths I had not dreamed
C G Am
And have forgotten since their beauty passed.

G D6 Am9 x 3 G
Track Name: The Child on the Cliffs
The Child on the Cliffs
Dm Am Gm
Mother, the root of this little yellow flower
A Dm
Among the stones has the taste of quinine.
Am Gm
Things are strange to-day on the cliff. The sun shines so bright,
A Dm
And the grasshopper works at his sewing-machine
So hard. Here’s one on my hand, mother, look;
Dm C A7
I lie so still. There’s one on your book.

But I have something to tell more strange. So leave
Your book to the grasshopper, mother dear,—
Like a green knight in a dazzling market-place,—
And listen now. Can you hear what I hear
Far out? Now and then the foam there curls
And stretches a white arm out like a girl’s.

Fishes and gulls ring no bells. There cannot be
A chapel or church between here and Devon,
With fishes or gulls ringing its bell,—hark!—
Somewhere under the sea or up in heaven.
“It’s the bell, my son, out in the bay
On the buoy. It does sound sweet to-day.”

Sweeter I never heard, mother, no, not in all Wales.
I should like to be lying under that foam,
Dead, but able to hear the sound of the bell,
And certain that you would often come
And rest, listening happily.
I should be happy if that could be.