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Three by Housman I

Poems by Alfred Edward Housman.

The night is freezing fast,
   To-morrow comes December;
      And winterfalls of old
Are with me from the past;
   And chiefly I remember
      How Dick would hate the cold.

Fall, winter, fall; for he,
   Prompt hand and headpiece clever,
      Has woven a winter robe,
And made of earth and sea
   His overcoat for ever,
      And wears the turning globe.

(Last Poems XX)

Like mine, the veins of these that slumber
   Leapt once with dancing fires divine;
The blood of all this noteless number
   Ran red like mine.

How still, with every pulse in station,
   Frost in the founts that used to leap,
The thralls of night, the perished nation,
   How sound they sleep!

These too, these veins which life convulses,
   Wait but a while, shall cease to bound;
I with the ice in all my pulses
   Shall sleep as sound.

(More Poems XX)

Because I liked you better
   Than suits a man to say,
It irked you, and I promised
   To throw the thought away.

To put the world between us
   We parted, stiff and dry;
"Good-bye," said you, "forget me."
   "I will, no fear", said I.

If here, where clover whitens
   The dead man's knoll, you pass,
And no tall flower to meet you
   Starts in the trefoiled grass,

Halt by the headstone naming
   The heart no longer stirred,
And say the lad that loved you
   Was one that kept his word.

(More Poems XXXI)

Collected Poems (1940) pp. 121, 179, 190.

Lane Core Jr. CIW P — Sun. 12/05/04 12:34:46 PM
Categorized as Literary & Sunday Poetry Series.

   
         
         

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Cor ad cor loquitur J. H. Newman — “Heart speaks to heart”