Week 73: Far in a western brookland, by A.E.Housman

At seventeen, away from home for the first time, I walked by a river at night reciting this poem to myself. I don’t know why lines of such profound desolation, such hiraeth, should have been a comfort to me, but they were. 

Far in a western brookland
That bred me long ago
The poplars stand and tremble
By pools I used to know.

There, in the windless night-time,
The wanderer, marvelling why,
Halts on the bridge to hearken
How soft the poplars sigh.

He hears: no more remembered
In fields where I was known,
Here I lie down in London
And turn to rest alone.

There, by the starlit fences,
The wanderer halts and hears
My soul that lingers sighing
About the glimmering weirs.

A.E.Housman

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