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
A Shropshire Lad, VI
When the lad for longing sighs, Mute and dull of cheer and pale, If at death’s own door he lies, Maiden, you can heal his ail. Lovers’ ills are all to buy: The wan look, the hollow tone, The hung head, the sunken eye, You can have them for your own. But them, buy them: eve and morn Lovers’ ill are all to sell. Then you can lie down forlorn; but they lover will be well.