Alfred Edward Housman

(26 March 1859 – 30 April 1936 / Worcestershire)

Others, I Am Not the First


Others, I am not the first,
Have willed more mischief than they durst:
If in the breathless night I too
Shiver now, 'tis nothing new.

More than I, if truth were told,
Have stood and sweated hot and cold,
And through their reins in ice and fire
Fear contended with desire.

Agued once like me were they,
But I like them shall win my way
Lastly to the bed of mould
Where there's neither heat nor cold.

But from my grave across my brow
Plays no wind of healing now,
And fire and ice within me fight
Beneath the suffocating night.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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  • Kathryn Heise (2/2/2007 3:03:00 PM)

    This is a great poem to recite to yourself in the middle of the night as you stare into the blackness. 'Others, I am not the first' is my mantra on nights like those. (Report) Reply

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