The Author A. E. Housman

A Shropshire Lad - XXIX - The Lent Lily


The Lent Lily 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.
    'Tis spring; come out to ramble
    The hilly brakes around,
    For under thorn and bramble
    About the hollow ground
    The primroses are found.

    And there's the windflower chilly
    With all the winds at play,
    And there's the Lenten lily
    That has not long to stay
    And dies on Easter day.

    And since till girls go maying
    You find the primrose still,
    And find the windflower playing
    With every wind at will,
    But not the daffodil,

    Bring baskets now, and sally
    Upon the spring's array,
    And bear from hill and valley
    The daffodil away
    That dies on Easter day.


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