When lads come home from labour At Abdon under Clee A man would call his neighbour And both would send for me. And where the light in lances Across the mead was laid, There to the dances I fetched my flute and played. Ours were idle pleasures, Yet oh, content we were, The young to wind the measures, The old to heed the air; And I to lift with playing From tree and tower and steep The light delaying, And flute the sun to sleep. The youth toward his fancy Would turn his brow of tan, And Tom would pair with Nancy And Dick step off with Fan; The girl would lift her glances To his, and both be mute: Well went the dances At evening to the flute. Wenlock Edge was umbered, And bright was Abdon Burf, And warm between them slumbered The smooth green miles of turf; Until from grass and clover The upshot beam would fade, And England over Advanced the lofty shade. The lofty shade advances, I fetch my flute and play: Come, lads, and learn the dances And praise the tune to-day. To-morrow, more's the pity, Away we both must hie, To air the ditty, And to earth I.
About the headline (FAQ)
- by Alfred Edward Housman (1859 - 1936), "Fancy's knell", appears in Last Poems, no. 41, first published 1922 [author's text checked 1 time against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by Daniel Gregory Mason (1873 - 1953), "Fancy's knell", published 1927 [soli, chorus, and orchestra], from Songs of the Countryside [text not verified]
- by Dom Thomas Symons (1887 - 1975), "Fancy's knell", published 1928. [voice and piano] [text not verified]
- by Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872 - 1958), "Fancy's knell", 1927, published 1954, rev. 1954 [voice and violin], from Along the Field, no. 7. [text verified 1 time]
- by John Ramsden Williamson (1929 - 2015), "Fancy's knell - When lads were home from labour" [baritone and piano] [text not verified]
- by John Ramsden Williamson (1929 - 2015), "Fancy's knell" [voice, recorders, and piano], second setting [text not verified]
Researcher for this text: Ted Perry
This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 40
Word count: 204