A. E. Housman – A Shropshire Lad

117500_2

Into my heart an air that kills
From yon far country blows:
What are those blue remembered hills,
What spires, what farms are those?

That is the land of lost content,
I see it shining plain,
The happy highways where I went
And cannot come again.

Raised in Worcestershire and finding myself eventually settled in Cambridge, I do share some geographical space with the ghost of A. E. Housman, even if I otherwise find his morbid nostalgia a bit too much to take as seriously as perhaps it needs.

Still, reading A Shropshire Lad gives you something in common with the generation who fought the First World War, when, naturally, morbidity and nostalgia must have been very important forces indeed.

“I was born in Worcestershire, not Shropshire, where I have never spent much time. I had a sentimental feeling for Shropshire because its hills were on our Western horizon.” – A.E. Housman, from private correspondence

A Shropshire Lad
A Shropshire Lad (Full text at Project Gutenberg)
A Shropshire Lad (Free audio at Librivox)

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s