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When I was One-and-Twenty

When I was One-and-Twenty

by A.E. Housman

Love Quotes Page 1

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

"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).

Quote #2

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.

Quote #3

"The heart out of the bosom
Was never given in vain; (11-12)

Notice how the heart becomes something that you lose once you give it away? It's not something to share. A little possessive? Well, yes. Yes it is. Oh, and it's also a big downer.

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