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On Wenlock Edge


On Wenlock Edge the wood's in trouble;

     His forest fleece the Wrekin heaves;

The gale, it plies the saplings double,

     And thick on Severn snow the leaves.


'Twould blow like this through holt and hanger

     When Uricon the city stood:

'Tis the old wind in the old anger,

     But then it threshed another wood.


Then, 'twas before my time, the Roman

     At yonder heaving hill would stare:

The blood that warms an English yeoman,

     The thoughts that hurt him, they were there.


There, like the wind through woods in riot,

     Through him the gale of life blew high;

The tree of man was never quiet:

     Then 'twas the Roman, now 'tis I.


The gale, it plies the saplings double,

     It blows so hard, 'twill soon be gone:

To-day the Roman and his trouble

     Are ashes under Uricon.

A.E. Housman




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