[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
The Rain It Streams On Stone And Hillock

The rain, it streams on stone and hillock,
The boot clings to the clay.
Since all is done that's due and right
Let's home; and now, my lad, good-night,
For I must turn away.

Good-night, my lad, for nought's eternal;
No league of ours, for sure.
To-morrow I shall miss you less,
And ache of heart and heaviness
Are things that time should cure.

Over the hill the highway marches
And what's beyond is wide:
Oh soon enough will pine to nought
Remembrance and the faithful thought
That sits the grave beside.

The skies, they are not always raining
Nor grey the twelvemonth through;
And I shall meet good days and mirth,
And range the lovely lands of earth
With friends no worse than you.

But oh, my man, the house is fallen
That none can build again;
My man, how full of joy and woe
Your mother bore you years ago
To-night to lie in the rain.

By A. E. Housman
[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
The Lads in Their Hundreds

The lads in their hundreds to Ludlow come in for the fair,
There’s men from the barn and the forge and the mill and the fold,
The lads for the girls and the lads for the liquor are there,
And there with the rest are the lads that will never be old.

There’s chaps from the town and the field and the till and the cart,
And many to count are the stalwart, and many the brave,
And many the handsome of face and the handsome of heart,
And few that will carry their looks or their truth to the grave.

I wish one could know them, I wish there were tokens to tell
The fortunate fellows that now you can never discern;
And then one could talk with them friendly and wish them farewell
And watch them depart on the way that they will not return.

But now you may stare as you like and there’s nothing to scan;
And brushing your elbow unguessed-at and not to be told
They carry back bright to the coiner the mintage of man,
The lads that will die in their glory and never be old.

by A. E. Housman

George Butterworth, who composed the music to A.E. Housman's poetry, killed in action August 5, 1916.

[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
Oh, Stay at Home, My Lad, and Plough

Oh stay at home, my lad, and plough
The land and not the sea,
And leave the soldiers at their drill,
And all about the idle hill
Shepherd your sheep with me.

Oh stay with company and mirth
And daylight and the air;
Too full already is the grave
Of fellows that were good and brave
And died because they were.

by A. E. Housman
[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
On the Idle Hill of Summer

On the idle hill of summer,
Sleepy with the flow of streams,
Far I hear the steady drummer
Drumming like a noise in dreams.

Far and near and low and louder
On the roads of earth go by,
Dear to friends and food for powder,
Soldiers marching, all to die.

East and west on fields forgotten
Bleach the bones of comrades slain,
Lovely lads and dead and rotten;
None that go return again.

Far the calling bugles hollo,
High the screaming fife replies,
Gay the files of scarlet follow:
Woman bore me, I will rise.

by A. E. Housman

[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
Epitaph On An Army Of Mercenaries

These, in the day when heaven was falling,
The hour when earth's foundations fled,
Followed their mercenary calling,
And took their wages, and are dead.

Their shoulders held the sky suspended;
They stood, and earth's foundations stay;
What God abandoned, these defended,
And saved the sum of things for pay.

by A.E. Housman

http://youtu.be/n6K_TMhEyDw

[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
The Recruit

Leave your home behind, lad,
And reach your friends your hand,
And go, and luck go with you
While Ludlow tower shall stand.

Oh, come you home of Sunday
When Ludlow streets are still
And Ludlow bells are calling
To farm and lane and mill,

Or come you home of Monday
When Ludlow market hums
And Ludlow chimes are playing
"The conquering hero comes,"

Come you home a hero,
Or come not home at all,
The lads you leave will mind you
Till Ludlow tower shall fall.

And you will list the bugle
That blows in lands of morn,
And make the foes of England
Be sorry you were born.

And you till trump of doomsday
On lands of morn may lie,
And make the hearts of comrades
Be heavy where you die.

Leave your home behind you,
Your friends by field and town:
Oh, town and field will mind you
Till Ludlow tower is down.

by A.E. Housman
[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
Wake Not For The World-Heard Thunder

Wake not for the world-heard thunder
Not the chime that earthquakes toll.
Star may plot in heaven with planet,
Lightning rive the rock of granite,
Tempest tread the oakwood under:
Fear you not for flesh nor soul.
Marching, fighting, victory past,
Stretch your limbs in peace at last.

Stir not for the soldiers drilling
Nor the fever nothing cures:
Throb of drum and timbal's rattle
Call but man alive to battle,
And the fife with death-notes filling
Screams for blood but not for yours.
Times enough you bled your best;
Sleep on now, and take your rest.

Sleep, my lad; the French are landed,
London's burning, Windsor's down;
Clasp your cloak of earth about you,
We must man the ditch without you,
March unled and fight short-handed,
Charge to fall and swim to drown.
Duty, friendship, bravery o'er,
Sleep away, lad; wake no more.

by A.E. Housman
[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
The Deserter

`What sound awakened me, I wonder,
For now 'tis dumb.'
`Wheels on the road most like, or thunder:
Lie down; 'twas not the drum.'

Toil at sea and two in haven
And trouble far;
Fly, crow, away, and follow, raven,
And all that croaks for war.

`Hark, I heard the bugle crying,
And where am I?
My friends are up and dressed and dying,
And I will dress and die.'

`Oh love is rare and trouble plenty
And carrion cheap,
And daylight dear at four-and-twenty:
Lie down again and sleep.'

`Reach me my belt and leave your prattle:
Your hour is gone;
But my day is the day of battle,
And that comes dawning on.

`They mow the field of man in season:
Farewell, my fair,
And, call it truth or call it treason,
Farewell the vows that were.'

`Ay, false heart, forsake me lightly:
'Tis like the brave.
They find no bed to joy in rightly
Before they find the grave.

`Their love is for their own undoing,
And east and west
They scour about the world a-wooing
The bullet to their breast.

`Sail away the ocean over,
Oh sail away,
And lie there with your leaden lover
For ever and a day.'

by A.E. Housman
[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
The World Goes None The Lamer

The world goes none the lamer
For ought that I can see,
Because this cursed trouble
Has struck my days and me.

The stars of heaven are steady,
The founded hills remain,
Though I to earth and darkness
Return in blood and pain.

Farewell to all belongings
I won or bought or stole;
Farewell, my lusty carcase,
Farewell, my aery soul.

Oh worse remains for others
And worse to fear had I
Than here at four-and-twenty
To lay me down and die.

by A.E. Housman
[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
Lancer

I 'listed at home for a lancer,
Oh who would not sleep with the brave?
I 'listed at home for a lancer
To ride on a horse to my grave.

And over the seas we were bidden
A country to take and to keep;
And far with the brave I have ridden,
And now with the brave I shall sleep.

For round me the men will be lying
That learned me the way to behave,
And showed me my business of dying:
Oh who would not sleep with the brave?

They ask, and there is not an answer;
Says I, I will 'list for a lancer,
Oh who would not sleep with the brave?

And I with the brave shall be sleeping
At ease on my mattress of loam,
When back from their taking and keeping
The squadron is riding at home.

The wind with the plumes will be playing,
The girls will stand watching them wave,
And eyeing my comrades and saying
Oh who would not sleep with the brave?

They ask, and there is not an answer;
Says you, I will 'list for a lancer,
Oh who would not sleep with the brave?

by A.E. Housman
[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
Here Dead We Lie

Here dead we lie
Because we did not choose
To live and shame the land
From which we sprung.

Life, to be sure,
Is nothing much to lose,
But young men think it is,
And we were young.

by A. E. Housman
[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
From 'Last Poems'

As I gird on for fighting
My sword upon my thigh,
I think on old ill fortunes
Of better men than I.

Think I, the round world over,
What golden lads are low
With hurts not mine to mourn for
And shames I shall not know.

What evil luck soever
For me remains in store,
'Tis sure much finer fellows
Have fared much worse before.

So here are things to think on
That ought to make me brave,
As I strap on for fighting
My sword that will not save.

by A.E. Housman
[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
Soldier

The street sounds to the soldiers' tread,
And out we troop to see:
A single redcoat turns his head,
He turns and looks at me.

My man, from sky to sky's so far,
We never crossed before;
Such leagues apart the world's ends are,
We're like to meet no more;

What thoughts at heart have you and I
We cannot stop to tell;
But dead or living, drunk or dry,
Soldier, I wish you well.

by A.E. Housman
[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
Farewell

Farewell to a name and a number
Recalled again
To darkness and silence and slumber
In blood and pain.

So ceases and turns to the thing
He was born to be
A soldier cheap to the King
And dear to me;

So smothers in blood the burning
And flaming flight
Of valour and truth returning
To dust and night.

by A.E. Housman
[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
Epitaph on an Army of Mercenaries

These, in the day when heaven was falling,
The hour when Earth's foundations fled,
Followed their mercenary calling
And took their wages and are dead.

Their shoulders held the sky suspended;
They stood, and earth's foundations stay;
What God abandoned, these defended,
And saved the sum of things for pay.

by A.E. Housman
[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
The New Mistress

'Oh, sick I am to see you, will you never let me be?
You may be good for something but you are not good for me.
Oh, go where you are wanted, for you are not wanted here.'
And that was all the farewell when I parted from my dear.

I will go where I am wanted, to a lady born and bred
Who will dress me free for nothing in a uniform of red;
She will not be sick to see me if I only keep it clean:
I will go where I am wanted for a soldier of the Queen.

I will go where I am wanted, for the sergeant does not mind;
He may be sick to see me but he treats me very kind:
He gives me beer and breakfast and a ribbon for my cap,
And I never knew a sweetheart spend her money on a chap.

I will go where I am wanted, where there's room for one or two,
And the men are none too many for the work there is to do;
Where the standing line wears thinner and the dropping dead lie thick;
And the enemies of England they shall see me and be sick.

by A.E. Housman
[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
Astronomy

The Wain upon the northern steep
Descends and lifts away.
Oh I will sit me down and weep
For bones in Africa.

For pay and medals, name and rank,
Things that he has not found,
He hove the Cross to heaven and sank
The pole-star underground.

And now he does not even see
Signs of the nadir roll
At night over the ground where he
Is buried with the pole.

by A.E. Housman
[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
When I Would Muse In Boyhood

When I would muse in boyhood
The wild green woods among,
And nurse resolves and fancies
Because the world was young,
It was not foes to conquer,
Nor sweethearts to be kind,
But it was friends to die for
That I would seek and find.

I sought them and I found them,
The sure, the straight, the brave,
The hearts I lost my own to,
The souls I could not save.
They braced their belts around them,
They crossed in ships the sea,
They sought and found six feet of ground,
And there they died for me.

by A.E. Housman
[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
The Oracles

'Tis mute, the word they went to hear on high Dodona mountain
When winds were in the oakenshaws and all the cauldrons tolled,
And mute's the midland navel-stone beside the singing fountain,
And echoes list to silence now where gods told lies of old.

I took my questions to the shrine that has not ceased from speaking,
The heart within, that tells the truth and tells it twice as plain;
And from the cave of oracles I heard the priestess shrieking
That she and I should surely die and never live again.

Oh priestess, what you cry is clear, and sound good sense I think it;
But let the screaming echoes rest, and froth your mouth no more.
'Tis true there's better booze than brine, but he that drowns must drink it;
And oh, my lass, the news is news that men have heard before.

The King with half the East at heel is marched from lands of morning,
Their fighters drink the rivers up, their shafts benight the air.
And he that stands will die for nought, and home there's no returning.
The Spartans on the sea-wet rock sat down and combed their hair.

by A. E. Housman
[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com

Oh, Stay at Home, My Lad, and Plough

Oh stay at home, my lad, and plough
The land and not the sea,
And leave the soldiers at their drill,
And all about the idle hill
Shepherd your sheep with me.

Oh stay with company and mirth
And daylight and the air;
Too full already is the grave
Of fellows that were good and brave
And died because they were.

by A. E. Housman

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