The Author A. E. Housman

A Shropshire Lad - XLVIII


    Be still, my soul, be still; the arms you bear are brittle,
    Earth and high heaven are fixt of old and founded strong.
    Think rather,-call to thought, if now you grieve a little,
    The days when we had rest, O soul, for they were long.

    Men loved unkindness then, but lightless in the quarry
    I slept and saw not; tears fell down, I did not mourn;
    Sweat ran and blood sprang out and I was never sorry:
    Then it was well with me, in days ere I was born.

    Now, and I muse for why and never find the reason,
    I pace the earth, and drink the air, and feel the sun.
    Be still, be still, my soul; it is but for a season:
    Let us endure an hour and see injustice done.

    Ay, look: high heaven and earth ail from the prime foundation;
    All thoughts to rive the heart are here, and all are vain:
    Horror and scorn and hate and fear and indignation-
    Oh why did I awake? when shall I sleep again?


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