Poetry Monster

The Merry Guide poem – A. E. Housman

Once in the wind of morning

I ranged the thymy wold;

The world-wide air was azure

And all the brooks ran gold.

There through the dews beside me

Behold a youth that trod,

With feathered cap on forehead,

And poised a golden rod.

With mien to match the morning

And gay delightful guise

And friendly brows and laughter

He looked me in the eyes.

Oh whence, I asked, and whither?

He smiled and would not say,

And looked at me and beckoned

And laughed and led the way.

And with kind looks and laughter

And nought to say beside

We two went on together,

I and my happy guide.

Across the glittering pastures

And empty upland still

And solitude of shepherds

High in the folded hill,

By hanging woods and hamlets

That gaze through orchards down

On many a windmill turning

And far-discovered town,

With gay regards of promise

And sure unslackened stride

And smiles and nothing spoken

Led on my merry guide.

By blowing realms of woodland

With sunstruck vanes afield

And cloud-led shadows sailing

About the windy weald,

By valley-guarded granges

And silver waters wide,

Content at heart I followed

With my delightful guide.

And like the cloudy shadows

Across the country blown

We two fare on for ever,

But not we two alone.

With the great gale we journey

That breathes from gardens thinned,

Borne in the drift of blossoms

Whose petals throng the wind;

Buoyed on the heaven-heard whisper

Of dancing leaflets whirled

>From all the woods that autumn

Bereaves in all the world.

And midst the fluttering legion

Of all that ever died

I follow, and before us

Goes the delightful guide,

With lips that brim with laughter

But never once respond,

And feet that fly on feathers,

And serpent-circled wand.