Four Songs to Texts by A. E. Housman

Song Cycle by Robert Hugill

Word count: 327

1. He looked at me [sung text checked 1 time]

He looked at me with eyes I thought
  I was not like to find,
The voice he begged for pence with brought
  Another man to mind.

Oh no, lad, never touch your cap;
  It is not my half-crown:
You have it from a better chap
  That long ago lay down.

Turn east and over Thames to Kent
  And come to the sea's brim,
And find his everlasting tent
  And touch your cap to him.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. He would not stay for me [sung text checked 1 time]

He would not stay for me; and who can wonder?
He would not stay for me to stand and gaze.
I shook his hand and tore my heart in sunder
And went with half my life about my ways.

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Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

3. Because I liked you better [sung text checked 1 time]

Because I liked you better
Than suits a man to say,
It irked you, and I promised
To throw the thought away.

To put the world between us
We parted, stiff and dry;
"Good-bye," said you, "forget me."
"I will, no fear," said I.

If here, where clover whitens
The dead man's knoll, you pass,
And no tall flower to meet you
Starts in the trefoiled grass,

Halt by the headstone naming
The heart no longer stirred,
And say the lad that loved you
Was one that kept his word.

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Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

4. A. J. J. - When he's returned [sung text checked 1 time]

When he's returned I'll tell him -- oh,
  Dear fellow, I forgot:
Time was you would have cared to know,
  But now it matters not.

I mourn you, and you heed not how;
  Unsaid the word must stay;
Last month was time enough, but now
  The news must keep for aye.

Oh, many a month before I learn
  Will find me starting still
And listening, as the days return,
  For him that never will.

Strange, strange to think his blood is cold
  And mine flows easy on:
And that straight look, that heart of gold,
  That grace, that manhood gone.

The word unsaid will stay unsaid
  Though there was much to say;
Last month was time enough: he's dead,
  The news must keep for aye.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]