Alfred Edward Housman , usually known as A.E. Housman, was an English poet and classical scholar best known for his cycle of poems A Shropshire Lad. Lyrical and almost epigrammatic in form, the poems were mostly written before 1900. Their wistful evocation of doomed youth in English countryside, their spare, strophic language and distinctive imagery appealed strongly to the early twentieth century English composers both before and after the First World War. Through their song-settings the poetry therefore became closely associated with that generation, and are undyingly associated with Shropshire itself.