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date: 19 May 2024

A. E. Housman 1859–1936
English poet 

  1. Oh who is that young sinner with the handcuffs on his wrists?
    And what has he been after that they groan and shake their fists?
    And wherefore is he wearing such a conscience-stricken air?
    Oh they're taking him to prison for the colour of his hair.
    first drafted in summer 1895, following the trial and imprisonment of Oscar Wilde
    Collected Poems (1939) ‘Additional Poems’ no. 18
  2. I, a stranger and afraid
    In a world I never made.
    Last Poems (1922) no. 12
  3. Their shoulders held the sky suspended;
    They stood, and earth's foundations stay;
    What God abandoned, these defended,
    And saved the sum of things for pay.
    Last Poems (1922) no. 37 ‘Epitaph on an Army of Mercenaries’
  4. For nature, heartless, witless nature,
    Will neither care nor know
    What stranger's feet may find the meadow
    And trespass there and go.
    Last Poems (1922) no. 40
  5. Life, to be sure, is nothing much to lose;
    But young men think it is, and we were young.
    More Poems (1936) no. 36
  6. Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
    Is hung with bloom along the bough,
    And stands about the woodland ride
    Wearing white for Eastertide.
    A Shropshire Lad (1896) no. 2
  7. And since to look at things in bloom
    Fifty springs are little room,
    About the woodlands I will go
    To see the cherry hung with snow.
    A Shropshire Lad (1896) no. 2
  8. 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.
    A Shropshire Lad (1896) no. 13
  9. On Wenlock Edge the wood's in trouble;
    His forest fleece the Wrekin heaves;
    The gale, it plies the saplings double,
    And thick on Severn snow the leaves.
    A Shropshire Lad (1896) no. 31
  10. From far, from eve and morning
    And yon twelve-winded sky,
    The stuff of life to knit me
    Blew hither: here am I.
    A Shropshire Lad (1896) no. 32
  11. Into my heart an air that kills
    From yon far country blows:
    What are those blue remembered hills,
    What spires, what farms are those?
    That is the land of lost content,
    I see it shining plain,
    The happy highways where I went
    And cannot come again.
    A Shropshire Lad (1896) no. 40
  12. Clunton and Clunbury,
    Clungunford and Clun,
    Are the quietest places
    Under the sun.
    A Shropshire Lad (1896) no. 50 (epigraph)
  13. By brooks too broad for leaping
    The lightfoot boys are laid;
    The rose-lipt girls are sleeping
    In fields where roses fade.
    A Shropshire Lad (1896) no. 54
  14. And malt does more than Milton can
    To justify God's ways to man.
    Ale, man, ale's the stuff to drink
    For fellows whom it hurts to think.
    A Shropshire Lad (1896) no. 62; see Milton
  15. Mithridates, he died old.
    A Shropshire Lad (1896) no. 62
  16. Three minutes' thought would suffice to find this out; but thought is irksome and three minutes is a long time.
    D. Iunii Iuvenalis Saturae (1905) preface
  17. The European view of a poet is not of much importance unless the poet writes in Esperanto.
    in Cambridge Review 1915
  18. My inclination to go by Air Express is confirmed by the crash they had yesterday, which will make them careful in the immediate future.
    letter, 17 August 1920
  19. Experience has taught me, when I am shaving of a morning, to keep watch over my thoughts, because, if a line of poetry strays into my memory, my skin bristles so that the razor ceases to act…The seat of this sensation is the pit of the stomach.
    lecture at Cambridge, 9 May 1933