The Author A. E. Housman

A Shropshire Lad - IV - Reveille


Reveille was published in Housman's collection of 63 poems in A Shropshire Lad (1896). Housman self-published the book after being turned down by several publishers. Themes tend to focus on unrequited love, pastoral beauty, fleeting youth, grief, death, and patriotism.
    Wake: the silver dusk returning
    Up the beach of darkness brims,
    And the ship of sunrise burning
    Strands upon the eastern rims.

    Wake: the vaulted shadow shatters,
    Trampled to the floor it spanned,
    And the tent of night in tatters
    Straws the sky-pavilioned land.

    Up, lad, up, 'tis late for lying:
    Hear the drums of morning play;
    Hark, the empty highways crying
    "Who'll beyond the hills away?"

    Towns and countries woo together,
    Forelands beacon, belfries call;
    Never lad that trod on leather
    Lived to feast his heart with all.

    Up, lad: thews that lie and cumber
    Sunlit pallets never thrive;
    Morns abed and daylight slumber
    Were not meant for man alive.

    Clay lies still, but blood's a rover;
    Breath's a ware that will not keep
    Up, lad: when the journey's over
    There'll be time enough to sleep.


facebook share button twitter share button google plus share button tumblr share button reddit share button email share button share on pinterest pinterest

Create a library and add your favorite stories. Get started by clicking the "Add" button.
Add A Shropshire Lad - IV - Reveille to your own personal library.

Return to the A. E. Housman Home Page, or . . . Read the next poem; A Shropshire Lad - IX

Anton Chekhov
Nathaniel Hawthorne
Susan Glaspell
Mark Twain
Edgar Allan Poe
Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
Herman Melville
Stephen Leacock
Kate Chopin
Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson