When I Was One-and-Twenty by A. E. Housman Analysis

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In When I Was One-And-Twenty by A.E. Housman, the speaker reflects on advice given to him by an older and wiser man to not give his heart away too easily. The man advises him to give money, but not his heart. The speaker reflects on his youth and how he ignored this advice, only to realize its truth later on. The poem serves as a warning to younger individuals not to give their hearts away too easily, as the pain of heartbreak can be greater than any monetary loss. The poem is a useful reminder to consider the worth of the person before giving them one’s heart.

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In the verse form When I Was One-And-Twenty  by A. E. Housman  the writer begins by making the scene around when he was 21 and how he had heard something from an older and wiser adult male. The wise adult male tells the writer. “Give Crowns and lbs and guineas. but non your bosom away” . The significance of the man’s words is that you can give away your money. but ne’er give away your bosom at such an early age. In the 2nd stanza. he says increases the sum. stating to give pearls and rubies off. but to maintain your fancy free.

The following lines of the stanza say “But I was one-and-twenty. no usage to speak to me”. It is clear through these two lines entirely that he is now talking from a ulterior period of his life. and that he ne’er took the old adult male advice. The first four lines of the last stanza are citing the old wise adult male for a 3rd clip. For a 3rd clip. he is being reminded non to give his bosom off. and that it should ne’er be given in vain. It so states that he would lose his bosom by paying with “sighs a plentifulness  and sold for ndless rue”.

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The 3rd stanza seems to be a more luxuriant warning. saying that giving off your bosom will be a batch more than any money he could of all time roll up. It besides warns that if he gives off his bosom on a caprice. he will most probably be repenting it in the terminal. The last two lines say. “And I am two-and-twenty. and oh. ‘tis true. ‘tis true”  . This is the writer talking now from when he was 22 and has realized that he should hold taking the wise man’s advice.

The adult male who has given the advice to the writer has clearly been hurt profoundly by person in the past and is decidedly non unwise to warn the storyteller about giving his bosom off. This advice should be given to everyone at least one time. because if you give off your bosom so easy. the opportunities of acquiring emotionally hurt is greater. A batch of younger persons do this and is decidedly seen a batch in high school and college old ages. Peoples will believe they are with the love of their lives and could non see being with anyone else. until the twenty-four hours that they move on. and you’re left behind in depression and sorrow.

It is ne’er easy to agitate and it takes clip to retrieve. and the old wise adult male from the verse form see’s this and does non desire the storyteller to reiterate his error. and the error many others will do. Before you wholly give your bosom off. you should cognize that the individual you are giving it to is worth it and deserving agony for if things do non work out. Overall this is a reasonably good verse form for person who is younger and are on the hunt for love and company.

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When I Was One-and-Twenty by A. E. Housman Analysis. (2017, Aug 02). Retrieved from


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