A.E. Housman

          By brooks too wide for leaping
                    The light-foot lads are laid.
          The rose-lipt maids are sleeping
                    In fields where roses fade. -A.E.H.


From first to last he prophesied
          How it would be our lot
To rest with souls who never were
          And never would be got.

Brave, young hearts and willing
          To fight and die and strive
He cautioned not to dream the hope
          To save their souls alive.

This minstrel of the Ludlow Fair,
          To rose-lipt maids in May,
Sang of a season certain, when
          The rose in leaf-meal lay.

"All knots that lovers tie," he wrote,
          "Are tied to sever.
Here shall all the sweethearts lie
          Untrue for ever."

By brooks of faith too wide for him...
          Mere brooks, not oceans deep...
He laid the light-foot, Ludlow lads
          And could not make the leap.

"June suns," he wrote, "you cannot store
          To warm the winter's cold,
The lad that hopes for heaven
          Shall fill his mouth with mold."

The poet's gift he surly had
          And to the Giver gave
A life-long lamentation
          That led but to the grave.

"In came I crying, and today
          With heavier cause to plain
Depart I into death," he said,
          "Not to be born again."

Believe we must so sad a heart,
          By darkness so anointed,
And faith out-reasoned to the end,
          Will not be disappointed.