Sunday, February 23, 2014

A.E. Houseman - Poetry

The name Houseman is faintly familiar to me but I couldn't say that I know anything about this poet.  Or this poem, which is titled 'When I was One-and-Twenty'.

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.

A very nice poem.  How well I remember those two or three relationships where I gave my heart too freely and it ended up smashed.  Part of me wishes that I'd read this back when I was younger, but I don't know if it would have helped.  'But I was one-and-twenty/No use to talk to me.'  How true, how very true.

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