The Shropshire Lad, III

- 1859-1936
            THE RECRUIT

Leave your home behind, lad,
    And reach your friends your hand,
And go, and luck go with you
    While Ludlow tower shall stand.

Oh, come you home of Sunday
    While Ludlow streets are still
And Ludlow bells are calling
    To farm and lane and mill,

Or come you home of Monday
    When Ludlow market hums
And Ludlow chimes are playing
    ‘The conquering hero comes’,

Come you home a hero,
    Or come not home at all,
The lads you leave will mind you
    Till Ludlow tower shall fall.

And you will list the bugle
    That blows in lands of morn,
And make the foes of England
    Be sorry you were born.

And you till trump of doomsday
    On lands of morn may lie,
And make the hearts of comrades
    Be heavy where you die.

Leave your home behind you,
    Your friends by field and town:
Oh, town and field will mind you
    Till Ludlow tower is down. 

More by A. E. Housman

A Shropshire Lad XL

Into my heart on air that kills  
  From yon far country blows:  
What are those blue remembered hills,  
  What spires, what farms are those?  
  
That is the land of lost content,
  I see it shining plain,  
The happy highways where I went  
  And cannot come 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.