When I Was One-and-Twenty  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.