A Shropsire Lad, IV


Wake: the silver dusk returning
    Up the beach of darkness brims,
And the ship of sunrise burning
    Strands upon the eastern rims.

Wake: the vaulted shadow shatters,
    Trampled to the floor it spanned,
And the tent of night in tatters
    Straws the sky-pavilioned land.

Up, lad, up, ‘tis late for lying;
    Hear the drums of morning play;
Hark, the empty highways crying
    ‘Who’ll beyond the hills away?’

Towns and countries woo together,
    Forelands beacon, belfries call;
Never lad that trod on leather
    Lived to feast his heart with all.

Up, lad: thews that lie and cumber
    Sunlit pallets never thrive;
Morns abed and daylight slumber
    Were not meant for man alive.

Clay lies still, but blood’s a rover;
    Breath’s a ware that will not keep.
Up, lad: when the journey’s over
    There’ll be time enough to sleep. 

This poem is in the public domain.