Poem Hunter
The Carpenter's Son
(26 March 1859 – 30 April 1936 / Worcestershire)

The Carpenter's Son

Poem By Alfred Edward Housman

"Here the hangman stops his cart:
Now the best of friends must part.
Fare you well, for ill fare I:
Live, lads, and I will die.

"Oh, at home had I but stayed
'Prenticed to my father's trade,
Had I stuck to plane and adze,
I had not been lost, my lads.

"Then I might have built perhaps
Gallows-trees for other chaps,
Never dangled on my own,
Had I left but ill alone.

"Now, you see, they hang me high,
And the people passing by
Stop to shake their fists and curse;
So 'tis come from ill to worse.

"Here hang I, and right and left
Two poor fellows hang for theft:
All the same's the luck we prove,
Though the midmost hangs for love.

"Comrades all, that stand and gaze,
Walk henceforth in other ways;
See my neck and save your own:
Comrades all, leave ill alone.

"Make some day a decent end,
Shrewder fellows than your friend.
Fare you well, for ill fare I:
Live lads, and I will die."

User Rating: 3,3 / 5 ( 57 votes ) 23

Comments (23)

Fare you well, for ill fare I: In anguish we try to forget the things we love when they live not finding a suitable way to say goodbye. Nice poem.
Beautiful allusion of the crucifixion of Christ through a secular everyday shroud.
A wonderful poem in its nice creativity.
nice poem but i suggest member poems should be used as poem of the day and not dead poets.thanks
Revolutionary martyr.