The Author A. E. Housman

A Shropshire Lad - XLVI


    Bring, in this timeless grave to throw,
    No cypress, sombre on the snow;
    Snap not from the bitter yew
    His leaves that live December through;
    Break no rosemary, bright with rime
    And sparkling to the cruel clime;
    Nor plod the winter land to look
    For willows in the icy brook
    To cast them leafless round him: bring
    No spray that ever buds in spring.

    But if the Christmas field has kept
    Awns the last gleaner overstept,
    Or shrivelled flax, whose flower is blue
    A single season, never two;
    Or if one haulm whose year is o'er
    Shivers on the upland frore,
    -Oh, bring from hill and stream and plain
    Whatever will not flower again,
    To give him comfort: he and those
    Shall bide eternal bedfellows
    Where low upon the couch he lies
    Whence he never shall arise.


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