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The Carpenter's Son




The Carpenter's Son - Alfred Edward Housman

 "Here the hangman stops his cart: 
Now the best of friends must part. 
Fare you well, for ill fare I: 
Live, lads, and I will die. 

"Oh, at home had I but stayed 
'Prenticed to my father's trade, 
Had I stuck to plane and adze, 
I had not been lost, my lads. 

"Then I might have built perhaps 
Gallows-trees for other chaps, 
Never dangled on my own, 
Had I left but ill alone. 

"Now, you see, they hang me high, 
And the people passing by 
Stop to shake their fists and curse; 
So 'tis come from ill to worse. 

"Here hang I, and right and left 
Two poor fellows hang for theft: 
All the same's the luck we prove, 
Though the midmost hangs for love. 

"Comrades all, that stand and gaze, 
Walk henceforth in other ways; 
See my neck and save your own: 
Comrades all, leave ill alone. 

"Make some day a decent end, 
Shrewder fellows than your friend. 
Fare you well, for ill fare I: 
Live lads, and I will die."




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