Tell Me Not Here

A.E. Housman


Tell me not here, it needs not saying

what tune the enchantress plays

in aftermaths of soft September

or under blanching Mays

for she and I were long acquainted

and I knew all her ways.


On russet floors, by waters idle

the pine lets fall its cone;

the cuckoo shouts all day at nothing

in leafy dells alone

and travellers joys beguile in autumn

hearts that have lost their own.


On acres of the seeded grasses

the changing burnish heaves;

or marshalled under moons of harvest

stand still all night the sheaves;

and beeches strip in storms for winter

and stain the winds with leaves.


Possess, as I possessed a season

the countries I resign,

where over elmy plains the highway

would mount the hill and shine

and full of shade the pillared forest 

would murmur and be mine.


For nature, heartless, witless nature

would neither care or know

what strangers feet may find the meadow

and trespass there and go,

nor ask amid the dews of morning

If they were mine or no.


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