When I was One-and-Twenty
by A.E. Housman
When I was One-and-Twenty Love Quotes
How we cite our quotes: line
"Give crowns and pounds and guineas
But not your heart away; (4-5)
This little gem of advice has two important points: your heart is worth a lot. Mostly only to you, though. Everyone else will waste it (except maybe your mother). So, turn out your pockets in the street. That'd be a better idea than it would be to share your heart with anyone (except your mother, of course).
Give pearls away and rubies
But keep your fancy free." (5-6)
So now it's not just love on the table…it's "fancy." That's a fancy word for liking someone – or even just thinking that someone is pretty hot. Know the phrase "a passing fancy"? It's meant to suggest that fancy isn't really lasting.