May 24, 2008

Pass me the can, lad, there's an end of May

from "The Chestnut casts his Flambeaux"

There's one spoilt spring to scant our mortal lot,
One season ruined of our little store.
May will be fine next year as like as not:
Oh, ay, but then we shall be ...fifty four.

We for a certainty are not the first
Have sat in taverns while the tempest hurled
Their hopeful plans to emptiness, and cursed
Whatever brute and blackguard made the world...

The troubles of our proud and angry dust
Are from eternity, and shall not fail.
Bear them we can, and if we can we must.
Shoulder the sky, my lad, and drink your ale.

Alfred Edward Housman (1859-1936) (with apologies, I have changed twenty four to fifty four)

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