To An Athlete Dying Young (Alfred Edward Housman)
The time you won your town
We chaired you through the market-place;
Man and boy stood cheering by,
And home we brought you shoulder-high.
To-day, the road all runners
Shoulder-high we bring you home,
And set you at your threshold down,
Townsman of a stiller town.
Smart lad, to slip betimes
From fields where glory does not stay
And early though the laurel grows
It withers quicker than the rose.
Eyes the shady night has
Cannot see the record cut,
And silence sounds no worse than cheers
After earth has stopped the ears:
Now you will not swell the
Of lads that wore their honours out,
Runners whom renown outran
And the name died before the man.
So set, before its echoes
The fleet foot on the sill of shade,
And hold to the low lintel up
The still-defended challenge-cup.
And round that
Will flock to gaze the strengthless dead,
And find unwithered on its curls
The garland briefer than a girl's
last changes 31.08.2013, Peter Schmieder