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The Deserter

A. E. Housman
Language: English



‎"What sound awakened me, I wonder,‎
For now 'tis dumb."‎
‎"Wheels on the road most like, or thunder:‎
Lie down; 'twas not the drum."‎
‎ ‎
Toil at sea and two in haven
And trouble far;‎
Fly, crow, away, and follow, raven,‎
And all that croaks for war.‎
‎ ‎
‎"Hark, I heard the bugle crying,‎
And where am I?‎
My friends are up and dressed and dying,‎
And I will dress and die."‎
‎ ‎
‎"Oh love is rare and trouble plenty‎
And carrion cheap,‎
And daylight dear at four-and-twenty:‎
Lie down again and sleep."‎
‎ ‎
‎"Reach me my belt and leave your prattle:‎
Your hour is gone;‎
But my day is the day of battle,‎
And that comes dawning on.‎
‎ ‎
‎"They mow the field of man in season:‎
Farewell, my fair,‎
And, call it truth or call it treason,‎
Farewell the vows that were."‎
‎ ‎
‎"Ay, false heart, forsake me lightly:‎
‎'Tis like the brave.‎
They find no bed to joy in rightly
Before they find the grave.‎
‎ ‎
‎"Their love is for their own undoing,‎
And east and west
They scour about the world a-wooing
The bullet to their breast.‎
‎ ‎
‎"Sail away the ocean over,‎
Oh sail away,‎
And lie there with your leaden lover
For ever and a day."‎


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