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Best Famous A E Housman Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous A E Housman poems. This is a select list of the best famous A E Housman poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous A E Housman poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of a e housman poems.

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Written by A E Housman |

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.

Written by A E Housman |

O Why Do You Walk (a Parody)

 O why do you walk through the fields in boots,
Missing so much and so much?
O fat white woman whom nobody shoots,
Why do you walk through the fields in boots,
When the grass is soft as the breast of coots
And shivering-sweet to the touch?

Written by A E Housman |

Be Still My Soul Be Still

 Be still, my soul, be still; the arms you bear are brittle, 
Earth and high heaven are fixt of old and founded strong.
Think rather,-- call to thought, if now you grieve a little, The days when we had rest, O soul, for they were long.
Men loved unkindness then, but lightless in the quarry I slept and saw not; tears fell down, I did not mourn; Sweat ran and blood sprang out and I was never sorry: Then it was well with me, in days ere I was born.
Now, and I muse for why and never find the reason, I pace the earth, and drink the air, and feel the sun.
Be still, be still, my soul; it is but for a season: Let us endure an hour and see injustice done.
Ay, look: high heaven and earth ail from the prime foundation; All thoughts to rive the heart are here, and all are vain: Horror and scorn and hate and fear and indignation-- Oh why did I awake? when shall I sleep again?

More great poems below...

Written by A E Housman |


 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.

Written by A E Housman |

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.

Written by A E Housman |

The Day of Battle

 "Far I hear the bugle blow 
To call me where I would not go, 
And the guns begin the song, 
'Soldier, fly or stay for long.
' "Comrade, if to turn and fly Made a soldier never die, Fly I would, for who would not? 'Tis sure no pleasure to be shot.
"But since the man that runs away Lives to die another day, And cowards' funerals, when they come, Are not wept so well at home, "Therefore, though the best is bad, Stand and do the best, my lad; Stand and fight and see your slain, And take the bullet in your brain.

Written by A E Housman |

Twice a Week the Winter Thorough

 Twice a week the winter thorough 
Here stood I to keep the goal: 
Football then was fighting sorrow 
For the young man's soul.
Now in Maytime to the wicket Out I march with bat and pad: See the son of grief at cricket Trying to be glad.
Try I will; no harm in trying: Wonder 'tis how little mirth Keeps the bones of man from lying On the bed of earth.

Written by A E Housman |

The Grizzly Bear

 The Grizzly Bear is huge and wild
It has devoured the little child.
The little child is unaware It has been eaten by the bear.

Written by A E Housman |

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.

Written by A E Housman |

In Valleys of Springs and Rivers

 "Clunton and Clunbury,
Clungunford and Clun,
Are the quietest places
Under the sun.
" In valleys of springs and rivers, By Ony and Teme and Clun, The country for easy livers, The quietest under the sun, We still had sorrows to lighten, One could not be always glad, And lads knew trouble at Knighton When I was a Knighton lad.
By bridges that Thames runs under, In London, the town built ill, 'Tis sure small matter for wonder If sorrow is with one still.
And if as a lad grows older The troubles he bears are more, He carries his griefs on a shoulder That handselled them long before.
Where shall one halt to deliver This luggage I'd lief set down? Not Thames, not Teme is the river, Nor London nor Knighton the town: 'Tis a long way further than Knighton, A quieter place than Clun, Where doomsday may thunder and lighten And little 'twill matter to one.

Written by A E Housman |

In My Own Shire If I Was Sad

 In my own shire, if I was sad, 
Homely comforters I had: 
The earth, because my heart was sore, 
Sorrowed for the son she bore; 
And standing hills, long to remain, 
Shared their short-lived comrade's pain.
And bound for the same bourn as I, On every road I wandered by, Trod beside me, close and dear, The beautiful and death-struck year: Whether in the woodland brown I heard the beechnut rustle down, And saw the purple crocus pale Flower about the autumn dale; Or littering far the fields of May Lady-smocks a-bleaching lay, And like a skylit water stood The bluebells in the azured wood.
Yonder, lightening other loads, The seasons range the country roads, But here in London streets I ken No such helpmates, only men; And these are not in plight to bear, If they would, another's care.
They have enough as 'tis: I see In many an eye that measures me The mortal sickness of a mind Too unhappy to be kind.
Undone with misery, all they can Is to hate their fellow man; And till they drop they needs must still Look at you and wish you ill.

Written by A E Housman |

Wake Not for the World-Heard Thunder

 Wake not for the world-heard thunder, 
Nor the chimes that earthquakes toll; 
Stars may plot in heaven with planet, 
Lightning rive the rock of granite, 
Tempest tread the oakwood under, 
Fear not you for flesh or soul; 
Marching, fighting, victory past, 
Stretch your limbs in peace at last.
Stir not for the soldier's drilling, Nor the fever nothing cures; Throb of drum and timbal's rattle Call but men 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 have 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.

Written by A E Housman |

Terence This is Stupid Stuff

 ‘TERENCE, this is stupid stuff: 
You eat your victuals fast enough; 
There can’t be much amiss, ’tis clear, 
To see the rate you drink your beer.
But oh, good Lord, the verse you make, 5 It gives a chap the belly-ache.
The cow, the old cow, she is dead; It sleeps well, the horned head: We poor lads, ’tis our turn now.
To hear such tunes as killed the cow! Pretty friendship 'tis to rhyme Your friends to death before their time Moping melancholy mad! Come, pipe a tune to dance to, lad!" Why, if 'tis dancing you would be, There's brisker pipes than poetry.
Say, for what were hop-yards meant, Or why was Burton built on Trent? Oh many a peer of England brews Livelier liquor than the Muse, And malt does more than Milton can To justify God's ways to man.
Ale, man, ale's the stuff to drink For fellows whom it hurts to think: Look into the pewter pot To see the world as the world's not.
And faith, 'tis pleasant till 'tis past: The mischief is that 'twill not last.
Oh I have been to Ludlow fair And left my necktie God knows where, And carried half way home, or near, Pints and quarts of Ludlow beer: Then the world seemed none so bad, And I myself a sterling lad; And down in lovely muck I've lain, Happy till I woke again.
Then I saw the morning sky: Heigho, the tale was all a lie; The world, it was the old world yet, I was I, my things were wet, And nothing now remained to do But begin the game anew.
Therefore, since the world has still Much good, but much less good than ill, And while the sun and moon endure Luck's a chance, but trouble's sure, I'd face it as a wise man would, And train for ill and not for good.
'Tis true, the stuff I bring for sale Is not so brisk a brew as ale: Out of a stem that scored the hand I wrung it in a weary land.
But take it: if the smack is sour, The better for the embittered hour; It should do good to heart and head When your soul is in my soul's stead; And I will friend you, if I may, In the dark and cloudy day.
There was a king reigned in the East: There, when kings will sit to feast, They get their fill before they think With poisoned meat and poisoned drink.
He gathered all the springs to birth From the many-venomed earth; First a little, thence to more, He sampled all her killing store; And easy, smiling, seasoned sound, Sate the king when healths went round.
They put arsenic in his meat And stared aghast to watch him eat; They poured strychnine in his cup And shook to see him drink it up: They shook, they stared as white's their shirt: Them it was their poison hurt.
--I tell the tale that I heard told.
Mithridates, he died old.

Written by A E Housman |

Loveliest of Trees the Cherry Now

 Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.
Now, of my threescore years and ten, Twenty will not come again, And take from seventy springs a score, It only leaves me fifty more.
And since to look at things in bloom Fifty springs are little room, About the woodlands I will go To see the cherry hung with snow.

Written by A E Housman |

As Through the Wild Green Hills of Wyre

 As through the wild green hills of Wyre 
The train ran, changing sky and shire, 
And far behind, a fading crest, 
Low in the forsaken west 
Sank the high-reared head of Clee, 
My hand lay empty on my knee.
Aching on my knee it lay: That morning half a shire away So many an honest fellow's fist Had well-nigh wrung it from the wrist.
Hand, said I, since now we part From fields and men we know by heart, For strangers' faces, strangers' lands,-- Hand, you have held true fellows' hands.
Be clean then; rot before you do A thing they'll not believe of you.
You and I must keep from shame In London streets the Shropshire name; On banks of Thames they must not say Severn breeds worse men than they; And friends abroad must bear in mind Friends at home they leave behind.
Oh, I shall be stiff and cold When I forget you, hearts of gold; The land where I shall mind you not Is the land where all's forgot.
And if my foot returns no more To Teme nor Corve nor Severn shore, Luck, my lads, be with you still By falling stream and standing hill, By chiming tower and whispering tree, Men that made a man of me.
About your work in town and farm Still you'll keep my head from harm, Still you'll help me, hands that gave A grasp to friend me to the grave.