A Romantic Poet        

 
In Memory of Alfred Edward Housman

 

After so many sorrows,

After so many fears,

Your stars have changed their courses,

Your books have dried their tears.

 

All, all is done forever,

The threadbare rose is worn

No longer till the evening,

Its paper petals torn.

 

The whole day through is finished,

The never-ending rain

Has filled the gutters, winning

The sad to poems again.

 

But that is not for you now,

No bitter drinks or sweet

Stir up your heart to rue those

Who left the rain-drenched street.

 

And they, who at the corner,

Heedless, forgot to smile,

Must now accept their glory

In your Ionic style.

 

The stars, you thought they mattered,

Your books, as though they cared,

The stars and books, they scatter,

But you, still loved, are spared.

 

At death your gifts departed,

You had but what you gave,

And so the saving art lay

In what you did not save.

 

A penny to a poor man,

A week-end with an aunt,

The kindness mounted surely,

Though money might be scant.

 

Now all the friends you wanted,

Now all the joys you missed;

The classic and romantic

Have met together, kissed.

 

There, where the happy gather,

There, where the games are played,

The laurel does not wither,

The roses do not fade.

 

Enlightened, then, and cheerful,

Your valued heart expands

In loving Him who wears the

Fixed stars in both His hands.

 

So all your dreams are over,

With every dream come true,

And you are safe forever

With God, who cares for you.