Fern Hill : quotations

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Fern Hill is a notable literary work by Dylan Thomas. A complete discussion of this literary work is given, which will help you enhance your literary skills and prepare for the exam. Read the main text, key info, Summary, Themes, Characters, Literary Devices, Quotations, Notes, to various questions of Fern Hill.


Fern Hill” is a poem by the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, written in 1945. It is a nostalgic and reflective poem that explores themes of childhood, time, and the passage of time. Here are some selected quotations, along with explanations.

“Time held me green and dying
Though I sang in my chains like the sea.”

Explanation: These opening lines reflect the dual nature of time: its ability to sustain youthful vitality (“green”) while also leading toward mortality (“dying”). The comparison to the sea’s constant movement and sound emphasizes the speaker’s acceptance of this paradox.

“And as I was green and carefree, famous among the barns
About the happy yard and singing as the farm was home…”

Explanation: These lines capture the speaker’s nostalgic reflection on their youthful innocence and connection with nature. The farm is depicted as a place of comfort and familiarity.

“In the moon that is always rising,
Nor that riding to sleep
I should hear him fly with the high fields
And wake to the farm forever fled from the childless

Explanation: These lines convey the idea of growing up and leaving behind the carefree childhood days. The moon’s perpetual rise symbolizes the passage of time, and the “childless land” suggests the loss of innocence.

“I was prince of the apple towns
And once below a time
I lordly had the trees and leaves
Trail with daisies and barley
Down the rivers of the windfall light.”

Explanation: In these lines, the speaker recalls their youthful days when they felt in control of their surroundings and the beauty of nature. The imagery of trees and leaves “trailing” with flowers and barley evokes a sense of abundance and joy.

“Oh as I was young and easy in the mercy of his means,
Time held me green and dying
Though I sang in my chains like the sea.”

Explanation: These concluding lines reiterate the theme of time’s paradox and its influence on the speaker’s life. The image of singing “in my chains like the sea” suggests a sense of liberation within the constraints of time and mortality.