In valleys green and still
   Where lovers wander maying,
They hear from over hill
   A music playing.

Behind the drum and fife,
   Past hawthorn wood and hollow,
Through earth and out of life,
   The soldiers follow.

The soldier’s is the trade:
   In any wind or weather
He steals the heart of maid
   And man together.

The lover and his lass
   Beneath the hawthorn lying
Have heard the soldiers pass,
   And both are sighing.

And down the distance they,
   With dying note and swelling,
Walk the resounding way
   To the still dwelling.

A.E. Housman, Last Poems

Public domain: first published in 1922.

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