The Author A. E. Housman

A Shropshire Lad - LI

by


    Loitering with a vacant eye
    Along the Grecian gallery,
    And brooding on my heavy ill,
    I met a statue standing still.
    Still in marble stone stood he,
    And stedfastly he looked at me.
    "Well met," I thought the look would say,
    "We both were fashioned far away;
    We neither knew, when we were young,
    These Londoners we live among."

    Still he stood and eyed me hard,
    An earnest and a grave regard:
    "What, lad, drooping with your lot?
    I too would be where I am not.
    I too survey that endless line
    Of men whose thoughts are not as mine.
    Years, ere you stood up from rest,
    On my neck the collar prest;
    Years, when you lay down your ill,
    I shall stand and bear it still.
    Courage, lad, 'tis not for long:
    Stand, quit you like stone, be strong."
    So I thought his look would say;
    And light on me my trouble lay,
    And I slept out in flesh and bone
    Manful like the man of stone.

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