A. E. Housman: Hughley Steeple

Hughley Steeple

The vane on Hughley steeple  Veers bright, a far-known sign, And there lie Hughley people,  And there lie friends of mine. Tall in their midst the tower  Divides the shade and sun, And the clock strikes the hour  And tells the time to none.
To south the headstones cluster,  The sunny mounds lie thick; The dead are more in muster  At Hughley than the quick. North, for a soon-told number,  Chill graves the sexton delves, And steeple-shadowed slumber  The slayers of themselves.
To north, to south, lie parted,  With Hughley tower above, The kind, the single-hearted,  The lads I used to love. And, south or north, 'tis only  A choice of friends one knows, And I shall ne'er be lonely  Asleep with these or those.