To an Athlete Dying Young: (From a Shropshire Lad)

Author: Alfred Edward Housman  | Date: 1896

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.

Related Resources

None available for this document.

Download Options


Title: To an Athlete Dying Young: (From a Shropshire Lad)

Select an option:

*Note: A download may not start for up to 60 seconds.

Email Options


Title: To an Athlete Dying Young: (From a Shropshire Lad)

Select an option:

Email addres:

*Note: It may take up to 60 seconds for for the email to be generated.

Chicago: Alfred Edward Housman, To an Athlete Dying Young: (From a Shropshire Lad) Original Sources, accessed May 26, 2024, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=XGXPJAZQCIHYMHE.

MLA: Housman, Alfred Edward. To an Athlete Dying Young: (From a Shropshire Lad), Original Sources. 26 May. 2024. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=XGXPJAZQCIHYMHE.

Harvard: Housman, AE, To an Athlete Dying Young: (From a Shropshire Lad). Original Sources, retrieved 26 May 2024, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=XGXPJAZQCIHYMHE.