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My Dreams Are Of A Field Afar

My Dreams Are Of A Field Afar

My dreams are of a field afar 
    And blood and smoke and shot. 
There in their graves my comrades are, 
    In my grave I am not. 

I too was taught the trade of man 
    And spelt the lesson plain; 
But they, when I forgot and ran, 
    Remembered and remain.

A.E. Housman


I have noticed a recurring misunderstanding with the word "trade". While it is correct that trade means an exchange of goods, this is not the trade referred to in the poem (connotations, anyone?). Here, trade means an occupation or job. Traditionally a trade was entered into at the end of an apprenticeship (or training period).