The time you won your town the race, We chaired you through the market-place; Man and boy stood cheering by, And home we brought you shoulder-high. To-day, the road all runners come, Shoulder-high we bring you home, And set you at your threshold down,Townsman of a stiller town. So set, before its echoes fade, The fleet foot on the sill of shade, And hold to the low lintel up, The still-defended challenge-cup. —Housman
Each one of us recalls some little incident—many of us, as in my own case, a kind action, graced with the courtesy of a past generation and going far beyond the normal calls of comradeship. Each of us has his own memory, for in the tumultuous diapason of the world's tributes, all of us here at least know the epitaph he would have chosen for himself: "He was a noble historian, a kind and decent man."