To An Athlete Dying Young


THE time you won your town the race 
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 come, 
Shoulder-high we bring you home, 
And set you at your threshold down, 
Townsman of a stiller town.

Smart lad, to slip betimes away 
From fields where glory does not stay, 
And early though the laurel grows 
It withers quicker than the rose.

Eyes the shady night has shut 
Cannot see the record cut, 
And silence sounds no worse than cheers 
After earth has stopped the ears:

Now you will not swell the rout 
Of lads that wore their honours out, 
Runners whom renown outran 
And the name died before the man.

So set, before its echoes fade, 
The fleet foot on the sill of shade, 
And hold to the low lintel up 
The still-defended challenge-cup.

And round that early-laurelled head 
Will flock to gaze the strengthless dead, 
And find unwithered on its curls 
The garland briefer than a girl's.

-- A. E. Housman

Tags: athletes, death, poem, poetry, renown, youth

Views: 103

Replies to This Discussion

Well, that's one way of looking at things, although I think that if the deceased had a choice they might say something else.

As a poem, I like it. Housman had that talent of putting a lot of weight in a few words.

I am not at all that familiar with him. He's another one I must find time to explore. 

And yes, it is not a bad poem. 

RSS

Support Atheist Nexus

Donate Today

Donate

 

Help Nexus When You Buy From Amazon

Amazon

AJY

 

Latest Activity

Christopher Cosgrove commented on Loren Miller's blog post Seth Andrews - "The Ultimate Question"
15 minutes ago
Christopher Cosgrove shared Loren Miller's blog post on Facebook
26 minutes ago
TNT666 replied to Dr. Terence Meaden's discussion THE ORIGINS OF US ALL—BY DNA GENETIC ANALYSIS in the group ORIGINS: UNIVERSE, LIFE, HUMANKIND, AND DARWIN
1 hour ago
Christopher Cosgrove liked Loren Miller's blog post Seth Andrews - "The Ultimate Question"
1 hour ago
Atheist Exile replied to Dr. Terence Meaden's discussion THE ORIGINS OF US ALL—BY DNA GENETIC ANALYSIS in the group ORIGINS: UNIVERSE, LIFE, HUMANKIND, AND DARWIN
1 hour ago
Atheist Exile liked Dr. Terence Meaden's discussion THE ORIGINS OF US ALL—BY DNA GENETIC ANALYSIS
2 hours ago
Tom Sarbeck replied to Dustin Roy's discussion Islam and Nazism
2 hours ago
Atheist Exile replied to Dr. Terence Meaden's discussion THE ORIGINS OF US ALL—BY DNA GENETIC ANALYSIS in the group ORIGINS: UNIVERSE, LIFE, HUMANKIND, AND DARWIN
2 hours ago
Michael Penn replied to Christine's discussion Annual visit with the BA in-laws
2 hours ago
Tom Sarbeck replied to Russell Pangborn's discussion Atheist Reasoning on Gun Control in the U.S
3 hours ago
Tom Sarbeck replied to Ruth Anthony-Gardner's discussion Why Atheists can't be Republicans
3 hours ago
Gregory Phillip Dearth posted a status
"My second edition of "Tools for Debating Atheism" is now available on Kindle. Much better than the 1st edition... http://j.mp/1zsZBb5"
4 hours ago

© 2014   Atheist Nexus. All rights reserved. Admin: Richard Haynes.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service