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Friday, April 17, 2009

Poetry Friday: A.E. Housman


No, I'm not giving any hints about my personal life, I just think this poem is funny:

When I was one-and-twenty
by A.E. Housman

When I was one-and-twenty
I heard a wise man say,
'Give crowns and pounds and guineas
But not your heart away;
Give pearls away and rubies
But keep your fancy free.'
But I was one-and-twenty,
No use to talk to me.

When I was one-and-twenty
I heard him say again,
'The heart out of the bosom
Was never given in vain;
'Tis paid with sighs a plenty
And sold for endless rue.'
And I am two-and-twenty,
And oh, 'tis true, 'tis true.

5 comments:

Fiddler said...

Fun--thanks for sharing, John. What with your post and Andromeda Jazmon's, I think I need to read more Housman. Any other favorites?

Andromeda Jazmon said...

Oh yes - I remember this one! I think it must have been the year after he wrote the one I posted. A young man working on wisdom...

Mary Lee said...

Interesting to read your Houseman choice and Andromeda's back to back. I agree with her -- a young man working on wisdom.

John Mutford said...

Fiddler: Well, there's always "To an athlete dying young"

Andromeda: Definitely. Don't you just love that only a year has passed?

Mary Lee: Those two, combined with the one I mentioned to Fiddler, are starting to make me think he had a preoccupation with age.

Lisa Chellman said...

Ha ha, brilliant. I *do* feel as if I get smarter every year... but indeed, it's usually the hard way.