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Poem by Alfred Edward Housman


A Shropshire Lad. 51. Loitering with a Vacant Eye


   Loitering with a vacant eye
Along the Grecian gallery,
And brooding on my heavy ill,
I met a statue standing still.
Still in marble stone stood he,
And stedfastly he looked at me.
"Well met," I thought the look would say,
"We both were fashioned far away;
We neither knew, when we were young,
These Londoners we live among."

   Still he stood and eyed me hard,
An earnest and a grave regard:
"What, lad, drooping with your lot?
I too would be where I am not.
I too survey that endless line
Of men whose thoughts are not as mine.
Years, ere you stood up from rest,
On my neck the collar prest;
Years, when you lay down your ill,
I shall stand and bear it still.
Courage, lad, 'tis not for long:
Stand, quit you like stone, be strong."
So I thought his look would say;
And light on me my trouble lay,
And I stept out in flesh and bone
Manful like the man of stone. 



Alfred Edward Housman


Alfred Edward Housman's other poems:
  1. Last Poems. 20. The Night Is Freezing Fast
  2. More Poems. 14. The Farms of Home Lie Lost in Even
  3. More Poems. 47. For My Funeral
  4. More Poems. 11. The Rainy Pleiads Wester
  5. More Poems. 28. He, Standing Hushed, a Pace or Two Apart


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