In valleys green and still

A poem by Alfred Edward Housman

In valleys green and still
Where lovers wander maying
They hear from over hill
A music playing.

Behind the drum and fife,
Past hawthornwood and hollow,
Through earth and out of life
The soldiers follow.

The soldier’s is the trade:
In any wind or weather
He steals the heart of maid
And man together.

The lover and his lass
Beneath the hawthorn lying
Have heard the soldiers pass,
And both are sighing.

And down the distance they
With dying note and swelling
Walk the resounding way
To the still dwelling.

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