[Be still, my soul, be still; the arms you bear are brittle]

- 1859-1936

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? 

 

A Shropshire Lad, XIII

When I was one-and-twenty  
  I heard a wise man say,  
‘Give crowns and pounds and guineas  
  But not your heart away;  
  
Give pearls away and rubies
  But keep your fancy free.’  
But I was one-and-twenty,  
  No use to talk to me.  
  
When I was one-and-twenty  
  I heard him say again,
‘The heart out of the bosom  
  Was never given in vain;  
’Tis paid with sighs a plenty  
  And sold for endless rue.’  
And I am two-and-twenty,
  And oh, ’tis true, ’tis true.

A Shropshire Lad, XXXVI

White in the moon the long road lies,  
  The moon stands blank above;  
White in the moon the long road lies  
  That leads me from my love.  
  
Still hangs the hedge without a gust,
  Still, still the shadows stay:  
My feet upon the moonlit dust  
  Pursue the ceaseless way.  
  
The world is round, so travellers tell,  
  And straight though reach the track,  
Trudge on, trudge on, ’twill all be well,  
  The way will guide one back.  
  
But ere the circle homeward hies  
  Far, far must it remove:  
White in the moon the long road lies  
  That leads me from my love. 

Oh Who Is That Young Sinner

Oh who is that young sinner with the handcuffs on his wrists?
And what has he been after that they groan and shake their fists?
And wherefore is he wearing such a conscience-stricken air?
Oh they're taking him to prison for the colour of his hair.

'Tis a shame to human nature, such a head of hair as his;
In the good old time 'twas hanging for the colour that it is;
Though hanging isn't bad enough and flaying would be fair
For the nameless and abominable colour of his hair.
 
Oh a deal of pains he's taken and a pretty price he's paid
To hide his poll or dye it of a mentionable shade;
But they've pulled the beggar's hat off for the world to see and stare,
And they're haling him to justice for the colour of his hair.
 
Now 'tis oakum for his fingers and the treadmill for his feet
And the quarry-gang on Portland in the cold and in the heat,
And between his spells of labour in the time he has to spare
He can curse the God that made him for the colour of his hair.