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Poetry Monster

Loitering with a Vacant Eye poem – A. E. Housman

Loitering with a vacant eye

Along the Grecian gallery,

And brooding on my heavy ill,

I met a statue standing still.

Still in marble stone stood he,

And stedfastly he looked at me.

“Well met,” I thought the look would say,

“We both were fashioned far away;

We neither knew, when we were young,

These Londoners we live among.”

Still he stood and eyed me hard,

An earnest and a grave regard:

“What, lad, drooping with your lot?

I too would be where I am not.

I too survey that endless line

Of men whose thoughts are not as mine.

Years, ere you stood up from rest,

On my neck the collar prest;

Years, when you lay down your ill,

I shall stand and bear it still.

Courage, lad, ’tis not for long:

Stand, quit you like stone, be strong.”

So I thought his look would say;

And light on me my trouble lay,

And I stept out in flesh and bone

Manful like the man of stone.