XIV. The Culprit

The night my father got me
   His mind was not on me;
He did not plague his fancy
   To muse if I should be
   The son you see.

The day my mother bore me
   She was a fool and glad,
For all the pain I cost her,
   That she had borne the lad
   That borne she had.

My mother and my father
   Out of the light they lie;
The warrant would not find them,
   And here ‘tis only I
   Shall hang so high.

Oh let not man remember
   The soul that God forgot,
But fetch the county kerchief
   And noose me in the knot,
   And I will rot.

For so the game is ended
   That should not have begun.
My father and my mother
   They had a likely son,
   And I have none.

A.E. Housman, Last Poems

Public domain: first published in 1922.

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