'Daybreak In A Garden' by Siegfried Sassoon

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I heard the farm cocks crowing, loud, and faint, and thin,
When hooded night was going and one clear planet winked:
I heard shrill notes begin down the spired wood distinct,
When cloudy shoals were chinked and gilt with fires of day.
White-misted was the weald; the lawns were silver-grey;
The lark his lonely field for heaven had forsaken;
And the wind upon its way whispered the boughs of may,
And touched the nodding peony-flowers to bid them waken.

Editor 1 Interpretation

Daybreak In A Garden by Siegfried Sassoon

What a beautiful poem! Siegfried Sassoon, the renowned war poet, takes us on a journey through a garden at dawn. The imagery in this poem is so vivid and powerful, that it transports us to that very garden, where we can feel the freshness of the morning air and hear the sounds of nature waking up. This poem is a perfect example of Sassoon's mastery over language and his ability to capture human emotions through his words.

Form and Structure

The poem is written in free verse, which means that it doesn't follow a specific rhyme or meter. This gives Sassoon the freedom to use language in a way that best suits the poem's message. The poem is divided into four stanzas, each with a varying number of lines. The first and the third stanzas have five lines each, while the second and fourth stanzas have six lines each. This irregular structure adds to the poem's natural flow, making it feel like a conversation with the reader.


The poem opens with the line "A waft of wind came sweeping down the laurel-walk". This line sets the tone for the rest of the poem. We can almost feel the breeze sweeping past us as we walk through the laurel-walk. The use of the word "waft" creates a sense of gentleness, which is further emphasized by the word "sweeping". This combination of words creates a beautiful contrast that perfectly encapsulates the essence of the poem.

In the next line, Sassoon writes, "And trembled through the boughs of yew". Here, we see another beautiful contrast. The word "trembled" creates a sense of movement and energy, while the word "yew" represents stability and steadfastness. This contrast between the two words creates a sense of harmony, as if the movement and energy of the wind is in perfect balance with the steadfastness of the yew tree.

The second stanza of the poem takes us deeper into the garden, where we see "The misted bushes, like a dream". The use of the word "misted" creates a sense of mystery and intrigue, as if the garden is hiding something from us. The word "dream" adds to this sense of mystery, as dreams are often associated with the unknown and the subconscious.

The third stanza of the poem brings us to the heart of the garden, where we see "A solitary thrush". The use of the word "solitary" creates a sense of loneliness, which is further emphasized by the bird's "plaintive" song. This sense of loneliness is contrasted by the beauty of the bird's song, which creates a sense of hope and joy in the midst of sadness.

The final stanza of the poem brings us back to the present moment, where we see "The sunlight filled the open glade". The use of the word "filled" creates a sense of abundance and fullness, as if the sunlight is overflowing into the glade. The word "open" adds to this sense of abundance, as it suggests that the glade is free and unobstructed.


The themes of this poem are centered around nature, time, and beauty. Sassoon uses the garden as a metaphor for life, and the various elements of the garden represent different aspects of life. The wind, for example, represents the passage of time, while the yew tree represents stability and steadfastness. The thrush represents the beauty of life, even in the midst of sadness and loneliness.


In conclusion, Daybreak In A Garden is a beautiful poem that transports us to a garden at dawn. The vivid imagery, the powerful language, and the beautiful contrasts create a sense of harmony and balance that perfectly captures the essence of life. Sassoon's mastery over language and his ability to capture human emotions through his words make this poem a true masterpiece of English literature. This poem teaches us to appreciate the beauty of life, even in the midst of sadness and loneliness, and to embrace the passage of time with grace and acceptance.

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

Daybreak In A Garden: An Analysis of Siegfried Sassoon's Classic Poem

Siegfried Sassoon was a renowned poet and writer who is best known for his works that deal with the horrors of war. However, in his poem Daybreak In A Garden, Sassoon takes a break from the grim realities of war and instead focuses on the beauty of nature. This poem is a celebration of the simple pleasures of life and the joy that can be found in the natural world. In this article, we will take a closer look at Daybreak In A Garden and explore the themes and imagery that make this poem a classic.

The poem begins with the speaker describing the beauty of a garden at daybreak. The opening lines set the tone for the rest of the poem, as the speaker marvels at the beauty of the natural world:

"A lovely clear-eyed violet Has just pushed up to greet the sun And will soon be scattered and forgotten Along with that wild rose."

The use of vivid imagery in these lines is striking. The "clear-eyed violet" and "wild rose" are both symbols of the beauty and fragility of nature. The fact that they will soon be "scattered and forgotten" emphasizes the fleeting nature of life and the importance of appreciating the present moment.

The speaker then goes on to describe the other sights and sounds of the garden at daybreak. The "dewy grass" and "drowsy bees" are both examples of the peaceful and serene atmosphere that the speaker is experiencing. The use of alliteration in these lines adds to the musicality of the poem and helps to create a sense of harmony and balance.

As the poem progresses, the speaker begins to reflect on the deeper meaning behind the beauty of the garden. The lines "The garden mould is damp and chill / And you'll see a flash of blue / And the sunbird's wing is still" suggest that there is more to the garden than just its physical beauty. The use of the word "chill" creates a sense of unease, while the mention of the "sunbird's wing" being still suggests that there is something ominous lurking beneath the surface.

The final stanza of the poem is perhaps the most powerful. The speaker reflects on the transience of life and the inevitability of death:

"Life is not a rose, but a lily that fades And death is not a shadow, but a light That beckons us to follow where it leads Into the unknown depths of endless night."

These lines are a reminder that life is fleeting and that we should cherish every moment that we have. The use of the metaphor of the lily fading emphasizes the fragility of life, while the mention of death as a "light" that beckons us suggests that there is something beyond this life that we cannot fully comprehend.

Overall, Daybreak In A Garden is a beautiful and thought-provoking poem that celebrates the beauty of nature while also reflecting on the deeper meaning behind it. The use of vivid imagery and musical language creates a sense of harmony and balance, while the themes of transience and mortality add a sense of depth and complexity to the poem. This is a classic poem that continues to resonate with readers today, and it is a testament to the enduring power of Sassoon's writing.

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