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A E Housman Poems

A collection of select A E Housman famous poems that were written by A E Housman or written about the poet by other famous poets. PoetrySoup is a comprehensive educational resource of the greatest poems and poets on history.

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by Housman, A E
 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...Read More

by Housman, A E
 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...Read More

by Housman, A E
 Could man be drunk for ever 
With liquor, love, or fights, 
Lief should I rouse at morning 
And lief lie down of nights. 

But men at whiles are sober 
And think by fits and starts, 
And if they think, they fasten 
Their hands upon their hearts....Read More

by Housman, A E
 The snows are fled away, leaves on the shaws
 And grasses in the mead renew their birth,
The river to the river-bed withdraws,
 And altered is the fashion of the earth.

The Nymphs and Graces three put off their fear
 And unapparelled in the woodland play.
The swift hour and the brief prime of the year
 Say to the soul, Thou wast...Read More

by Housman, A E
 "Farewell to barn and stack and tree, 
Farewell to Severn shore. 
Terence, look your last at me, 
For I come home no more. 

"The sun burns on the half-mown hill, 
By now the blood is dried; 
And Maurice amongst the hay lies still 
And my knife is in his side. 

"My mother thinks us long away; 
'Tis time the...Read More

by Housman, A E
 CHORUS: O suitably-attired-in-leather-boots
Head of a traveller, wherefore seeking whom
Whence by what way how purposed art thou come
To this well-nightingaled vicinity?
My object in inquiring is to know.
But if you happen to be deaf and dumb
And do not understand a word I say,
Then wave your hand, to signify as much.

ALCMAEON: I journeyed hither a Boetian road.
CHORUS: Sailing on horseback, or with...Read More

by Housman, A E
 Ho, everyone that thirsteth
And hath the price to give,
Come to the stolen waters,
Drink and your soul shall live.

Come to the stolen waters,
And leap the guarded pale,
And pull the flower in season
Before desire shall fail.

It shall not last for ever,
No more than earth and skies;
But he that drinks in season
Shall live before he dies.

June suns, you cannot store them
To warm...Read More

by Housman, A E
 If by chance your eye offend you, 
Pluck it out, lad, and be sound: 
'Twill hurt, but here are salves to friend you, 
And many a balsam grows on ground. 

And if your hand or foot offend you, 
Cut it off, lad, and be whole; 
But play the man, stand up and end you, 
When your sickness is your...Read More

by Housman, A E
 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...Read More

by Housman, A E
 "Is my team ploughing, 
That I was used to drive 
And hear the harness jingle 
When I was man alive?" 

Ay, the horses trample, 
The harness jingles now; 
No change though you lie under 
The land you used to plough. 

"Is football playing 
Along the river shore, 
With lads to chase the leather, 
Now I stand up no more?"...Read More

by Housman, A E
 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...Read More

by Housman, A E
 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?...Read More

by Housman, A E
 Oh, see how thick the goldcup flowers 
Are lying in field and lane, 
With dandelions to tell the hours 
That never are told again. 
Oh may I squire you round the meads 
And pick you posies gay? 
--'Twill do no harm to take my arm. 
'You may, young man, you may.' 

Ah, spring was sent for lass and lad,...Read More

by Housman, A E
 Oh who is that young sinner with the handcuffs on his wrists?
And what has he been after that they groan and shake their fists?
And wherefore is he wearing such a conscience-stricken air?
Oh they're taking him to prison for the color of his hair.

'Tis a shame to human nature, such a head of hair as his;
In the good old time...Read More

by Housman, A E
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...Read More

by Housman, A E
 On your midnight pallet lying, 
Listen, and undo the door: 
Lads that waste the light in sighing 
In the dark should sigh no more; 
Night should ease a lover's sorrow; 
Therefore, since I go to-morrow, 
Pity me before. 

In the land to which I travel, 
The far dwelling, let me say-- 
Once, if here the couch is gravel, 
In...Read More

by Housman, A E
 Shot? so quick, so clean an ending? 
Oh that was right, lad, that was brave: 
Yours was not an ill for mending, 
'Twas best to take it to the grave. 

Oh you had forethought, you could reason, 
And saw your road and where it led, 
And early wise and brave in season 
Put the pistol to your head. 

Oh...Read More

by Housman, A E
 'Tis spring; come out to ramble 
The hilly brakes around, 
For under thorn and bramble 
About the hollow ground 
The primroses are found. 

And there's the windflower chilly 
With all the winds at play, 
And there's the Lenten lily 
That has not long to stay 
And dies on Easter day. 

And since till girls go maying 
You find the...Read More

by Housman, A E
 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...Read More

by Housman, A E
 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;...Read More