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Poem by Alfred Edward Housman


Last Poems. 41. Fancys Knell


When lads were home from labour
        At Abdon under Clee,
A man would call his neighbour
        And both would send for me.
And where the light in lances
        Across the mead was laid,
There to the dances
        I fetched my flute and played.

Ours were idle pleasures,
        Yet oh, content we were,
The young to wind the measures,
        The old to heed the air;
And I to lift with playing
        From tree and tower and steep
The light delaying,
        And flute the sun to sleep.

The youth toward his fancy
        Would turn his brow of tan,
And Tom would pair with Nancy
        And Dick step off with Fan;
The girl would lift her glances
        To his, and both be mute:
Well went the dances
        At evening to the flute.

Wenlock Edge was umbered,
        And bright was Abdon Burf,
And warm between them slumbered
        The smooth green miles of turf;
Until from grass and clover
        The upshot beam would fade,
And England over
        Advanced the lofty shade.

The lofty shade advances,
        I fetch my flute and play:
Come, lads, and learn the dances
        And praise the tune to-day.
To-morrow, mores the pity,
        Away we both must hie,
To air the ditty,
        And to earth I.



Alfred Edward Housman


Alfred Edward Housman's other poems:
  1. Additional Poems. 4. It Is No Gift I Tender
  2. Last Poems. 20. The Night Is Freezing Fast
  3. More Poems. 28. He, Standing Hushed, a Pace or Two Apart
  4. A Shropshire Lad. 34. The New Mistress
  5. Last Poems. 13. The Deserter


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