A Shrosphire Lad by Alfred Edward Housman

bookshelves: published-1896, public-domain, poetry, victorian, e-book, gutenberg-project, spring-2015, tbr-busting-2015

Recommended to Bettie☯ by: Anna Matsuyama
Read from January 31, 2014 to May 22, 2015


Picked this up today because I am grieving Endeavour Morse who used to quote from this collection often through the course of his career.

Sixty-three tiny poems urging us to sieze the day, not let life just run out without giving all.

IV:           REVEILLE

          Wake: the silver dusk returning
           Up the beach of darkness brims,
          And the ship of sunrise burning
           Strands upon the eastern rims.

          Wake: the vaulted shadow shatters,
           Trampled to the floor it spanned,
          And the tent of night in tatters
           Straws the sky-pavilioned land.

          Up, lad, up, 'tis late for lying:
           Hear the drums of morning play;
          Hark, the empty highways crying
           "Who'll beyond the hills away?"

          Towns and countries woo together,
           Forelands beacon, belfries call;
          Never lad that trod on leather
           Lived to feast his heart with all.

          Up, lad: thews that lie and cumber
           Sunlit pallets never thrive;
          Morns abed and daylight slumber
           Were not meant for man alive.

          Clay lies still, but blood's a rover;
           Breath's a ware that will not keep
          Up, lad: when the journey's over
           There'll be time enough to sleep.

So unlike Houseman’s Young Lads, at least Morse made it past his early twenties before he laid down to sleep the sleep.

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