Quotes by A. E. Housman

A. E. Housman

A. E. Housman

British poet

Alive from: 1859-1936

Category: Poets (Contemporary)

Quotes 31 till 45 of 50.

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    Now, of my threescore years and ten,
    Twenty will not come again,
    And take from seventy springs a score,
    It only leaves me fifty more.

    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.
    Source: A Shropshire Lad (1896) No. 2, st. 2-3
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    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.
    Source: Additional Poems (1937) No. 18, st. 1
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    Oh, when I was in love with you
    Then I was clean and brave,
    And miles around the wonder grew
    How well did I behave.

    And now the fancy passes by
    And nothing will remain,
    And miles around they'll say that I
    Am quite myself again.
    Source: A Shropshire Lad (1896)
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    On occasions, after drinking a pint of beer at luncheon, there would be a flow into my mind with sudden and unaccountable emotion, sometimes a line or two of verse, sometimes a whole stanza, accompanied, not preceded by a vague notion of the poem which they were destined to form a part of... I say bubble up because, so far as I could make out, the source of the suggestions thus proffered to the brain was the pit of the stomach.
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    Perfect understanding will sometimes almost extinguish pleasure.
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    Tell me not here, it needs not saying,
    What tune the enchantress plays
    In aftermaths of soft September
    Or under blanching mays,
    For she and I were long acquainted
    And I knew all her ways.
    Source: Last Poems (1922) No. 40, st. 1
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    That is the land of lost content, I see it shining plain, the happy highways where I went and cannot come again.
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    The average man, if he meddles with criticism at all, is a conservative critic.
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    The difference between an icicle and a red-hot poker is really much slighter than the difference between truth and falsehood or sense and nonsense; yet it is much more immediately noticeable and much more universally noticed, because the body is more sensitive than the mind.
    Source: The Application of Thought to Textual Criticism, a lecture delivered on August 4, 1921
  • A. E. Housman
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    The house of delusions is cheap to build but drafty to live in.
    Source: Introductory Lecture, October 3, 1892, London.
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    The most important truth which has ever been uttered, and the greatest discovery ever made in the moral world.
    Source: Referring to Luke 17:33, Whosoever will save his life shall lose it, and whosoever will lose his life shall find it (the wording used by Housman).
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    The rainy Pleiads wester,
    Orion plunges prone,
    The stroke of midnight ceases,
    And I lie down alone.
    Source: More Poems (1936) No. 11, st. 1
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    The troubles of our proud and angry dust are from eternity, and shall not fail. Bear them we can, and if we can we must. Shoulder the sky, my lad, and drink your ale.
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    They say my verse is sad: no wonder.
    Its narrow measure spans
    Rue for eternity, and sorrow
    Not mine, but man's.

    This is for all ill-treated fellows
    Unborn and unbegot,
    For them to read when they're in trouble
    And I am not.
    Source: More Poems (1936)
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    Three minutes' thought would suffice to find this out; but thought is irksome and three minutes is a long time.
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