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XIII. [When I was one-and-twenty]

by A. E. Housman, 1896

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.

Published in A Shropshire Lad
Tags: heartache, lgbt

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