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Word Count: 1,002
To An Athlete Dying Young The time you won your town the race We chaired you through the market-place Man and boy stood cheering by And home we brought you shoulder-high To-day the road all runners come Shoulder-high we bring you home And set you at your threshold down Townsman of a stiller town Smart lad to slip betimes away From fields where glory does not stay And early though the laurel grows It withers quicker than the rose Eyes the shady night has shut Cannot see the record cut And silence sounds no worse than cheers After earth has stopped the ears Now you will not swell the rout Of lads that wore their honours out Runners whom renown outran And the name died before the man So set before its echoes fade The fleet foot on the sill of shade And hold to the low lintel up The still-defended challenge-cup And round that early-laurelled head Will flock to gaze the strengthless dead And find unwithered on its curls The garland briefer than a girls Dying young is considered by most to be one of the most tragic of fates The specter of deeds not accomplished and a life unlived haunts the funeral set you at your threshold down Housman l 7 and causes the grief to reach a higher level Most people desire to live to a ripe old age and they would be aghast to have a premature death viewed through a positive light Yet a positive funeral is exactly the driving force behind AE Housmans To an Athlete Dying Young The poem states outright that it is better to die in the glory of youth than to rest too long on ones laurels only to see those laurels wither From fields where glory does not stay and early though the laurel grows it withers quicker than the rose ll 10-12 The poem
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