Published on Academy of American Poets (

A Shropshire Lad, VI

When the lad for longing sighs,
    Mute and dull of cheer and pale,
If at death’s own door he lies,
    Maiden, you can heal his ail.

Lovers’ ills are all to buy:
    The wan look, the hollow tone,
The hung head, the sunken eye,
    You can have them for your own.

But them, buy them: eve and morn
    Lovers’ ill are all to sell.
Then you can lie down forlorn;
    but they lover will be well. 


This poem is in the public domain.


A. E. Housman

Alfred Edward Housman was born in Fockbury, Worcestershire, England, on March 26, 1859. He published two volumes of poetry during his life, including A Shropshire Lad (1896), which was widely read during World War I.

Date Published: 2018-11-11

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