Richard Dawkins Reads A.E. Housman
From Poems that Make Grown Men Cry, Anthony and Ben Holden, ed., Simon and Schuster, Limited (2015)
This video was for the UK’s National Poetry Day in 2014: https://nationalpoetryday.co.uk/previous-years/ (external link)
Turn on the close captioning.
Last Poems (Part XL) by A.E. Housman
From the Gutenberg Project (external link)
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 traveler’s joy beguiles 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;
Or beeches strip in storms for winter
And stain the wind with leaves.
Possess, as I possessed a season,
The countries I resign,
Where over elmy plains the highway
Would mount the hills and shine,
And full of shade the pillared forest
Would murmur and be mine.
For nature, heartless, witless nature,
Will neither care nor know
What stranger’s feet may find the meadow
And trespass there and go,
Nor ask amid the dews of morning
If they are mine or no.
More on Housman at my website here (internal link)
Follow me on Instagram: tgfarley