'A Shropshire Lad' is a collection of 63 poems by the English poet Alfred Edward Housman (1859 -1936). The poems tell of the transience of love and youth, and speak of duty to country, facing death before growing up, the cruelty of fate and death. Some of the poems were set as song cycles by the English composer George Butterworth. The piece effectively infuses the music with the rustic spirit and the bittersweet themes that the poems evoke. 'A Shropshire Lad' is one of Butterworth's few remaining works because he destroyed most of his early work before leaving for battle.