First World War Poetry Digital Archive

A Private

A PRIVATE by EDWARD THOMAS This ploughman dead in battle slept out of doors Many a frozen night, and merrily Answered staid drinkers, good bedmen, and all bores: 'At Mrs Greenland's Hawthorn Bush,' said he, 'I slept.' None knew which bush. Above the town, Beyond 'The Drover', a hundred spot the down In Wiltshire. And where now at last he sleeps More sound in France---that, too, he secret keeps.


“A Private,” by Thomas, Edward (1878-1917). Copyright Edward Thomas, 1979, reproduced under licence from Faber and Faber Ltd. via First World War Poetry Digital Archive, accessed December 7, 2022,

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