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As Through the Wild Green

As Through the Wild Green Hills of Wyre - Alfred Edward Housman

 As through the wild green hills of Wyre 
The train ran, changing sky and shire, 
And far behind, a fading crest, 
Low in the forsaken west 
Sank the high-reared head of Clee, 
My hand lay empty on my knee. 
Aching on my knee it lay: 
That morning half a shire away 
So many an honest fellow's fist 
Had well-nigh wrung it from the wrist. 
Hand, said I, since now we part 
From fields and men we know by heart, 
For strangers' faces, strangers' lands,-- 
Hand, you have held true fellows' hands. 
Be clean then; rot before you do 
A thing they'll not believe of you. 
You and I must keep from shame 
In London streets the Shropshire name; 
On banks of Thames they must not say 
Severn breeds worse men than they; 
And friends abroad must bear in mind 
Friends at home they leave behind. 
Oh, I shall be stiff and cold 
When I forget you, hearts of gold; 
The land where I shall mind you not 
Is the land where all's forgot. 
And if my foot returns no more 
To Teme nor Corve nor Severn shore, 
Luck, my lads, be with you still 
By falling stream and standing hill, 
By chiming tower and whispering tree, 
Men that made a man of me. 
About your work in town and farm 
Still you'll keep my head from harm, 
Still you'll help me, hands that gave 
A grasp to friend me to the grave.