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When Smoke Stood Up From Ludlow

 When smoke stood up from Ludlow, 
And mist blew off from Teme, 
And blithe afield to ploughing 
Against the morning beam 
I strode beside my team, 

The blackbird in the coppice 
Looked out to see me stride, 
And hearkened as I whistled 
The trampling team beside, 
And fluted and replied: 

"Lie down, lie down, young yeoman; 
What use to rise and rise? 
Rise man a thousand mornings 
Yet down at last he lies, 
And then the man is wise.
" I heard the tune he sang me, And spied his yellow bill; I picked a stone and aimed it And threw it with a will: Then the bird was still.
Then my soul within me Took up the blackbird's strain, And still beside the horses Along the dewy lane It sang the song again: "Lie down, lie down, young yeoman; The sun moves always west; The road one treads to labour Will lead one home to rest, And that will be the best.
"

Poem by A E Housman
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