When I Was One-And-Twenty Poem by Alfred Edward Housman

When I Was One-And-Twenty

Rating: 3.4


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.

COMMENTS OF THE POEM
WarLock 12 February 2019

I must admit that I came by this terrific poem by way of one of the best TWILIGHT ZONE episodes: " The Changing Of The Guard" .

4 0 Reply
Sagnik Chakraborty 26 September 2014

The poem raises a pertinent question, whether to fall in love and risk heartbreak, or keep love at bay and one's heart intact. I personally would go with Tennyson: Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.

9 0 Reply
Christopher Tye 06 July 2012

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

3 0 Reply
Orly Palmaria 25 March 2012

some people fail to appreciate the wisdom

4 0 Reply
Aleksey Kotenev 21 October 2004

I did underline translation into the Russian language.

0 0 Reply
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