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Word Count: 857
Dying young is considered by most to be one of the most tragic of fates The specter of deeds not accomplished and a life not lived haunts the funeral set you at your threshold down Line 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 Lines 10-12 The poem takes place at the funeral of a young champion runner Rather than join the others in mourning the speaker is instead reflecting on how lucky the young athlete was to have died when he did instead of lingering on outlasting the glory of his victories From fields where glory does not stay and early though the laurel grows it withers quicker than the rose Lines 10-12 Speaking of how quickly the laurels die the narrator projects himself onto the young runner with a knowledge that suggests he too once knew these glories Through the writers thoughts the reader gets a glimpse of what the poets life may have been since his youth his own records broken his skills diminished his name forgotten The time you won your town the race we chaired you through the market-place Smart lad to slip betimes away from fields where glory does not stay silence sounds no worse than cheers Lines 1-2 9-10 15 Instead of being a poem about the death of the athl ete the poem becomes a statement about the life of the speaker as well as
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