A Shropshire Lad XIX: The time you won your town the race
A. E. Housman, A Shropshire Lad (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner, & Co., 1896): 26-28. del H68 S551896 Fisher Rare Book Library
1The time you won your town the race
2We chaired you through the market-place;
3Man and boy stood cheering by,
4And home we brought you shoulder-high.
5To-day, the road all runners come,
6Shoulder-high we bring you home,
7And set you at your threshold down,
8Townsman of a stiller town.
9Smart lad, to slip betimes away
10From fields where glory does not stay
11And early though the laurel grows
12It withers quicker than the rose.
13Eyes the shady night has shut
14Cannot see the record cut,
15And silence sounds no worse than cheers
16After earth has stopped the ears:
17Now you will not swell the rout
18Of lads that wore their honours out,
19Runners whom renown outran
20And the name died before the man.
21So set, before its echoes fade,
22The fleet foot on the sill of shade,
23And hold to the low lintel up
24The still-defended challenge-cup.
25And round that early-laurelled head
26Will flock to gaze the strengthless dead,
27And find unwithered on its curls
28The garland briefer than a girl's.
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