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Poem by Edward Thomas


Ambition


Unless it was that day I never knew
Ambition. After a night of frost, before
The March sun brightened and the South-west blew,
Jackdaws began to shout and float and soar
Already, and one was racing straight and high
Alone, shouting like a black warrior
Challenges and menaces to the wide sky.
With loud long laughter then a woodpecker
Ridiculed the sadness of the owl's last cry.
And through the valley where all the folk astir
Made only plumes of pearly smoke to tower
Over dark trees and white meadows happier
Than was Elysium in that happy hour,
A train that roared along raised after it
And carried with it a motionless white bower
Of purest cloud, from end to end close-knit,
So fair it touched the roar with silence. Time
Was powerless while that lasted. I could sit
And think I had made the loveliness of prime,
Breathed its life into it and were its lord,
And no mind lived save this 'twixt clouds and rime.
Omnipotent was I, nor even deplored
That I did nothing. But the end fell like a bell:
The bower was scattered; far off the train roared.
But if this was ambition I cannot tell.
What 'twas ambition for I know not well. 



Edward Thomas


Edward Thomas's other poems:
  1. The Cuckoo
  2. For These
  3. In Memoriam (Easter, 1915)
  4. The Other
  5. The Long Small Room


Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • Robert Herrick Ambition ("In man, ambition is the commonТst thing")
  • Robert Service Ambition ("They brought the mighty chief to town")
  • Madison Cawein Ambition ("Now to my lips lift then some opiate")

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