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On Wenlock Edge

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Literary Heritage West Midlands

XXXI. "On Wenlock Edge the wood's in trouble..."
by A. E. Housman (1859-1936)

On Wenlock Edge the wood's in trouble
His forest fleece the Wrekin heaves;
The gale, it plies the saplings double,
And thick on Severn snow the leaves.

'Twould blow like this through holt and hanger
When Uricon the city stood:
'Tis the old wind in the old anger,
But then it threshed another wood.

Then, 'twas before my time, the Roman
At yonder heaving hill would stare:
The blood that warms an English yeoman,
The thoughts that hurt him, they were there.

There, like the wind through woods in riot,
Through him the gale of life blew high;
The tree of man was never quiet:
Then 'twas the Roman, now 'tis I.

The gale, it plies the saplings double,
It blows so hard, 'twill soon be gone:
To-day the Roman and his trouble
Are ashes under Uricon.

"On Wenlock Edge", by Ralph Vaughan Williams, was begun in 1906 and completed in 1909

 part of the poem cycle A Shropshire Lad 

A.E. Housman
A. E. Housman

[click for larger image]
The Wrekin seen from Wenlock Edge

This website will help you discover
Shropshire's secrets. It will allow you
to explore the county's local history,
natural environment and archaeological
 treasures..

promoting the works of A.E
and associated authors

bringing Housman and other
writers into focus

a photographic slide show
courtesy of the
Virtual Shropshire website

RVW
Ralph Vaughan Williams

Virtual Shropshire

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