Verse > A.E. Housman > A Shropshire Lad
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A. E. Housman (1859–1936).  A Shropshire Lad.  1896.
 
XLI. 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,        5
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:        10
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        15
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,        20
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        25
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;        30
And till they drop they needs must still
Look at you and wish you ill.
 

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