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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.

This poem was written by A.E. Housman.
It’s split into 2 long stanzas, both of eight lines which are of regular length and aren’t aligned. Each line begins with a capital letter and there is a regular punctuation. There isn’t a rhyme scheme and there is a repetition “one-and-twenty”.

In this poem, the poet says when he was twenty one years old, a wise man gave him some advise, he told him to spend his money but not to give his heart away, to present jewelry but never shut his fantasy.

“`Give crowns and pounds and guineas // But not your heart away;// Give pearls away and rubies // But keep your fancy free.'(lines 3, 4, 5, 6).But he was only a boy and he couldn’t understand the real meaning of these words.

The same wise man told him another thing, he explained the sense of love. `The heart out of the bosom // Was never given in vain; // 'This paid with sighs a plenty // And sold for endless rue.' (lines 12, 13, 14, 15). Now he’s twenty two and he can understand what the wise man had said.

I think this poem is very nice and I really like the speech of the wise man, especially in lines 12 and 13, I think they are really true and romantic.

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