by A. E. Housman
When smoke stood up from Ludlow, And mist blew off from Teme, And blithe afield to ploughing Against the morning beam I strode beside my team,
The blackbird in the coppice Looked out to see me stride, And hearkened as I whistled The tramping team beside, And fluted and replied:
"Lie down, lie down, young yeoman; What use to rise and rise? Rise man a thousand mornings Yet down at last he lies, And then the man is wise."
I heard the tune he sang me, And spied his yellow bill; I picked a stone and aimed it And threw it with a will: Then the bird was still.
Then my soul within me Took up the blackbird's strain, And still beside the horses Along the dewy lane It Sang the song again:
"Lie down, lie down, young yeoman; The sun moves always west; The road one treads to labour Will lead one home to rest, And that will be the best."