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Rain(1916)

Edward Thomas

Rain, midnight rain, nothing but the wild rain
MeterRain, midnight rain, nothing but the wild rain

Note on line 1: Written in the trenches of World War I, this blank verse from a bleak landscape makes remarkable use of caesura and enjambment as guard rails for an obsessive meditation that dwells obviously on verbal repetition, more subtly on the internal rhyme of assonance. Listen for it.

On this bleak hut, and solitude, and me
MeterOn this bleak hut, and solitude, and me
Remembering again that I shall die
MeterRemembering again that I shall die
And neither hear the rain nor give it thanks
MeterAnd neither hear the rain nor give it thanks
For washing me cleaner than I have been
MeterFor washing me cleaner than I have been
Since I was born into this solitude.
MeterSince I was born into this solitude.
Blessed are the dead that the rain rains upon:
MeterBlessed are the dead that the rain rains upon:
But here I pray that none whom once I loved
MeterBut here I pray that none whom once I loved
Is dying tonight or lying still awake
MeterIs dying tonight or lying still awake
Solitary, listening to the rain,
MeterSolitary, listening to the rain,
Either in pain or thus in sympathy
MeterEither in pain or thus in sympathy
Helpless among the living and the dead,
MeterHelpless among the living and the dead,
Like a cold water among broken reeds,
MeterLike a cold water among broken reeds,
Myriads of broken reeds all still and stiff,
MeterMyriads of broken reeds all still and stiff,
Like me who have no love which this wild rain
MeterLike me who have no love which this wild rain
Has not dissolved except the love of death,
MeterHas not dissolved except the love of death,
If love it be towards what is perfect and
MeterIf love it be towards what is perfect and
Cannot, the tempest tells me, disappoint.
MeterCannot, the tempest tells me, disappoint.

Rhyme
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