Another setting of a poem by A.E. Housman. A Shropshire Lad VIII is untitled, but I call it Farewell to Severn Shore rather than by its first line, which seems a little unwieldy as a title. Compared to ‘The Carpenter’s Son’ the guitar part is much more ‘conventional folkie’.
The original poem below is as published on Martin Hardcastle’s site here.
`Farewell to barn and stack and tree,
Farewell to Severn shore.
Terence, look your last at me,
For I come home no more.
`The sun burns on the half-mown hill,
By now the blood is dried;
And Maurice amongst the hay lies still
And my knife is in his side.
`My mother thinks us long away;
‘Tis time the field were mown.
She had two sons at rising day,
To-night she’ll be alone.
`And here’s a bloody hand to shake,
And oh, man, here’s good-bye;
We’ll sweat no more on scythe and rake,
My bloody hands and I.
`I wish you strength to bring you pride,
And a love to keep you clean,
And I wish you luck, come Lammastide,
At racing on the green.
`Long for me the rick will wait,
And long will wait the fold,
And long will stand the empty plate,
And dinner will be cold.’
Small Blue-Green World