Dylan Thomas




Poem In October

      It was my thirtieth year to heaven
Woke to my hearing from harbour and neighbour wood
   And the mussel pooled and the heron
           Priested shore
       The morning beckon
With water praying and call of seagull and rook
And the knock of sailing boats on the net webbed wall
       Myself to set foot
           That second
      In the still sleeping town and set forth.

      My birthday began with the water-
Birds and the birds of the winged trees flying my name
   Above the farms and the white horses
           And I rose
       In rainy autumn
And walked abroad in a shower of all my days.
High tide and the heron dived when I took the road
       Over the border
           And the gates
      Of the town closed as the town awoke.

      A springful of larks in a rolling
Cloud and the roadside bushes brimming with whistling
   Blackbirds and the sun of October
           Summery
       On the hill's shoulder,
Here were fond climates and sweet singers suddenly
Come in the morning where I wandered and listened
       To the rain wringing
           Wind blow cold
      In the wood faraway under me.

      Pale rain over the dwindling harbour
And over the sea wet church the size of a snail
   With its horns through mist and the castle
           Brown as owls
       But all the gardens
Of spring and summer were blooming in the tall tales
Beyond the border and under the lark full cloud.
       There could I marvel
           My birthday
      Away but the weather turned around.

      It turned away from the blithe country
And down the other air and the blue altered sky
   Streamed again a wonder of summer
           With apples
       Pears and red currants
And I saw in the turning so clearly a child's
Forgotten mornings when he walked with his mother
       Through the parables
           Of sun light
      And the legends of the green chapels

      And the twice told fields of infancy
That his tears burned my cheeks and his heart moved in mine.
   These were the woods the river and sea
           Where a boy
       In the listening
Summertime of the dead whispered the truth of his joy
To the trees and the stones and the fish in the tide.
       And the mystery
           Sang alive
      Still in the water and singingbirds.

      And there could I marvel my birthday
Away but the weather turned around. And the true
   Joy of the long dead child sang burning
           In the sun.
       It was my thirtieth
Year to heaven stood there then in the summer noon
Though the town below lay leaved with October blood.
       O may my heart's truth
           Still be sung
      On this high hill in a year's turning.