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This page contains Edmund Blunden poems requested by visitors to the website. We are very interested to know what people think about his poems; please feel free to contact us with any observations.

If you would like to request a poem for this section please email us.

Jasmine Metcalfe has requested 'The Idlers' describing it as 'a celebration of unreflecting content, small pleasures.' The poem was first published in The Shepherd, 1922 by R.Cobden-Sanderson.

The Idlers

The gipsies lit their fires by the chalk-pit gate anew,
And the hoppled horses supped in the further dusk and dew;
The gnats flocked round the smoke like idlers as they were
And through the goss* and bushes the owls began to churr.

An ell above the woods the last of sunset glowed
With a dusky gold that filled the pond beside the road;
The cricketers had done, the leas all silent lay,
And the carrier's clattering wheels went past and died away.

The gipsies lolled and gossiped, and ate their stolen swedes,
Made merry with mouth-organs, worked toys with piths of reeds:
The old wives puffed their pipes, nigh as black as their hair,
And not one of them all seemed to know the name of care.

* goss is a form of gorse