TODAY’S BIRTHDAY: A. E. HOUSMAN (1859)

A. E. Housman (1859)

Housman studied at Oxford but left without a degree because he failed his final examinations. While working as a Patent Office clerk, Housman studied Latin texts and wrote journal articles that led to his appointment as a professor at University College, London, and later at Cambridge. He is remembered for the much-anthologized poem “When I was One-and-Twenty,” and his verse, based on Classical and traditional models, exerted a strong influence on later poets. Who was his famous brother?More… Discuss

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.
Share this text …?
***Source: Father: An Anthology of Verse (EP Dutton & Company, 1931)***

 

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