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. When I was one-and-twenty I heard him say again, ‘The heart out of the bosom Was never given in vain; ’Tis paid with sighs a plenty And sold for endless rue.’ And I am two-and-twenty, And oh, ’tis true, ’tis true.
A. E. Housman - 1859-1936
The Shropshire Lad, III
THE RECRUIT Leave your home behind, lad, And reach your friends your hand, And go, and luck go with you While Ludlow tower shall stand. Oh, come you home of Sunday While Ludlow streets are still And Ludlow bells are calling To farm and lane and mill, Or come you home of Monday When Ludlow market hums And Ludlow chimes are playing ‘The conquering hero comes’, Come you home a hero, Or come not home at all, The lads you leave will mind you Till Ludlow tower shall fall. And you will list the bugle That blows in lands of morn, And make the foes of England Be sorry you were born. And you till trump of doomsday On lands of morn may lie, And make the hearts of comrades Be heavy where you die. Leave your home behind you, Your friends by field and town: Oh, town and field will mind you Till Ludlow tower is down.