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(26 March 1859 – 30 April 1936 / Worcestershire)

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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.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003


Read poems about / on: heart

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Comments about this poem (From Far, From Eve and Morning by Alfred Edward Housman )

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  • Christopher Tye (7/6/2012 8:52:00 AM)

    I've always loved this poem since I first read it & George Butterworth's setting of the poem intensifies its already great beauty.

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  • Orly Palmaria (3/25/2012 3:22:00 AM)

    some people fail to appreciate the wisdom

  • Aleksey Kotenev (10/21/2004 4:25:00 AM)

    I did underline translation into the Russian language.

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