Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


The Shropshire Lad, III

            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. 

Credit


This poem is in the public domain.

Author


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

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/shropshire-lad-iii