A.E. Housman

1859-1936


Contents

Could man be drunk forever
On Wenlock Edge


Could man be drunk forever

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

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


On Wenlock Edge

On Wenlock Edge the wood's in trouble;
His forest fleece the Wrekin heaves;
The gale, it plies the saplings double,
And thick on Severn snow the leaves.

'Twould blow like this through holt and hanger
When Uricon the city stood:
'Tis the old wind in the old anger,
But then it threshed another wood.

Then, 'twas before my time, the Roman
At yonder heaving hill would stare:
The blood that warms an English yeoman,
The thoughts that hurt him, they were there.

There, like the wind through woods in riot,
Through him the gale of life blew high;
The tree of man was never quiet:
Then 'twas the Roman, now 'tis I.

The gale it plies the saplings double,
It blows so hard, 'twill soon be gone:
To-day the Roman and his trouble
Are ashes under Uricon.

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