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In the High Leaves of a Walnut
Laurence Binyon


In the high leaves of a walnut,
On the very topmost boughs,
A boy that climbed the branching bole
His cradled limbs would house.

On the airy bed that rocked him
Long, idle hours he’d lie
Alone with white clouds sailing
The warm blue of the sky.

I remember not what his dreams were;
But the scent of a leaf’s enough
To house me higher than those high boughs
In a youth he knew not of,

In a light that no day brings now
But none can spoil or smutch,
A magic that I felt not then
And only now I touch. 

This poem is in the public domain.



Laurence Binyon (1869 - 1943) was a British poet , author, playwright, and art critic. The son of a Quaker minister, he worked for many years at the British Museum before becoming a university professor late in life. An expert in Oriental art, Laurence published numerous books, ranging from a biography of Botticelli and many scholarly works art to collections of his award-winning poetry. Too old to serve as a soldier during World War I, he served instead as a hospital volunteer. He is best remember for his poem, "For the Fallen," an excerpt of which is often used in memorial services and engraved on war memorials.

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