by: A.E. Housman (1860-1936)

      NCE in the wind of morning
      I ranged the thymy wold;
      The world-wide air was azure
      And all the brooks ran gold.
      There through the dews beside me
      Behold a youth that trod,
      With feathered cap on forehead,
      And poised a golden rod.
      With mien to match the morning
      And gay delightful guise
      And friendly brows and laughter
      He looked me in the eyes.
      Oh whence, I asked, and whither?
      He smiled and would not say,
      And looked at me and beckoned
      And laughed and led the way.
      And with kind looks and laughter
      And nought to say beside
      We two went on together,
      I and my happy guide.
      Across the glittering pastures
      And empty upland still
      And solitude of shepherds
      High in the folded hill,
      By hanging woods and hamlets
      That gaze through orchards down
      On many a windmill turning
      And far-discovered town,
      With gay regards of promise
      And sure unslackened stride
      And smiles and nothing spoken
      Led on my merry guide.
      By blowing realms of woodland
      With sunstruck vanes afield
      And cloud-led shadows sailing
      About the windy weald,
      By valley-guarded granges
      And silver waters wide,
      Content at heart I followed
      With my delightful guide.
      And like the cloudy shadows
      Across the country blown
      We two fare on for ever,
      But not we two alone.
      With the great gale we journey
      That breathes from gardens thinned,
      Borne in the drift of blossoms
      Whose petals throng the wind;
      Buoyed on the heaven-heard whisper
      Of dancing leaflets whirled
      From all the woods that autumn
      Bereaves in all the world.
      And midst the fluttering legion
      Of all the ever died
      I follow, and before us
      Goes the delightful guide,
      With lips that brim with laughter
      But never once respond,
      And feet that fly on feathers,
      And serpent-circled wand.

"Once in the wind of morning" is reprinted from A Shropshire Lad. A.E. Housman. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co., 1896.




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