Sunday 2 February 2014

Sunday War Poets...

Alfred Edward Housman


Epitaph on Army of Mercenaries (1914)

These, in the days when heaven was falling, 
The hour when earth's foundations fled, 
Followed their mercenary calling 
And took their wages and are dead.

Their shoulders held the sky suspended;
They stood, and the earth's foundations stay; 
When God abandoned, these defended, 
And saved the sum of things for pay.

During the First World War, Housman published several poems about the conflict including Epitaph on an Army of Mercenaries (1914), written after the First Battle of Ypres. 
He is best known for his work, A Shropshire Lad, which he published at his own expense in 1896.



  1. Know the poet, not the poem, Josie. Thank you again - this is a little sharp one and no mistake.

    1. I agree Susan - this poem is a stark reminder of just want was happening in Northern France. I was familiar with A Shropshire Lad but not A E Housman's poetry.

      We live and learn.


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