Mr. Housman’s Message
by Ezra Pound
[from Personæ, 1926]
O woe, woe,
People are born and die,
We also shall be dead pretty soon
Therefore let us act as if we were
The bird sits on the hawthorn tree
But he dies also, presently.
Some lads get hung, and some get shot.
Woeful is this human lot.
Woe! woe, etcetera . . .
London is a woeful place,
Shropshire is much pleasanter.
Then let us smile a little space
Upon fond nature’s morbid grace.
Oh, Woe, woe, woe, etcetera . . .