No One So Much As You – Edward Thomas

The following poem, by Edward Thomas, is a beautiful meditation on the force of experiencing a love so great that it makes one’s own love in return seem inadequate, and brings to mind all the times that the love experienced was taken for granted. It is therefore quite a melancholy poem, tinged with regret but filled with a sense of yearning – a desire to go further than one has gone before, and to rectify the shortcomings of one’s past by responding with a greater love. Because of this, it has always read to me as (on some level) representative of our experience of God’s love for us, and the consequent feelings of falling short. Recent personal ‘research’ has shown me that this is not the case, but I still feel that when read in light of the divine love, the tone and the imagery fit the bill rather well. Read either way, I always find it deeply moving:

No one so much as you

Loves this my clay,

Or would lament as you

Its dying day.

 

You know me through and through

Though I have not told,

And though with what you know

You are not bold.

 

None ever was so fair

As I thought you:

Not a word can I bear

Spoken against you.

 

All that I ever did

For you seemed coarse

Compared with what I hid

Nor put in force.

 

My eyes scarce dare meet you

Lest they should prove

I but respond to you

And do not love.

 

We look and understand,

We cannot speak

Except in trifles and

Words the most weak.

 

For I at most accept

Your love, regretting

That is all: I have kept

Only a fretting

 

That I could not return

All that you gave

And could not ever burn

With the love you have,

 

Till sometimes it did seem

Better it were

Never to see you more

Than linger here

 

With only gratitude

Instead of love –

A pine in solitude

Cradling a dove.

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3 thoughts on “No One So Much As You – Edward Thomas

  1. Pingback: The Anima Christi: Divine strength for hard times | Journey Towards Easter

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