Verse > A.E. Housman > A Shropshire Lad
A. E. Housman (1859–1936).  A Shropshire Lad.  1896.
VII. 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,        5
The blackbird in the coppice
  Looked out to see me stride,
And hearkened as I whistled
  The trampling team beside,
  And fluted and replied:        10
‘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.’        15
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.        20
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:        25
‘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.’        30


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