The Author A. E. Housman

A Shropshire Lad - VII


    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,

    The blackbird in the coppice
    Looked out to see me stride,
    And hearkened as I whistled
    The tramping team beside,
    And fluted and replied:

    "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."

    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.

    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:

    "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."


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