Verse > A.E. Housman > A Shropshire Lad
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A. E. Housman (1859–1936).  A Shropshire Lad.  1896.
 
IV. Wake: the silver dusk returning
 
Reveille
 
 
WAKE: the silver dusk returning
  Up the beach of darkness brims,
And the ship of sunrise burning
  Strands upon the eastern rims.
 
Wake: the vaulted shadow shatters,        5
  Trampled to the floor it spanned,
And the tent of night in tatters
  Straws the sky-pavilioned land.
 
Up, lad, up, ’tis late for lying:
  Hear the drums of morning play;        10
Hark, the empty highways crying
  ‘Who ’ll beyond the hills away?’
 
Towns and countries woo together,
  Forelands beacon, belfries call;
Never lad that trod on leather        15
  Lived to feast his heart with all.
 
Up, lad: thews that lie and cumber
  Sunlit pallets never thrive;
Morns abed and daylight slumber
  Were not meant for man alive.        20
 
Clay lies still, but blood ’s a rover;
  Breath ’s a ware that will not keep.
Up, lad: when the journey ’s over
  There ’ll be time enough to sleep.
 

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