Quotes by A.E. Housman

"Because I liked you better
Than suits a man to say,
It irked you, and I promised
I'd throw the thought away.

To put the world between us
We parted stiff and dry:
'Farewell,' said you, 'forget me.'
'Fare well, I will,' said I.

If e'er, where clover whitens
The dead man's knoll, you pass,
And no tall flower to meet you
Starts in the trefoiled grass,

Halt by the headstone shading
The heart you have not stirred,
And say the lad that loved you
Was one that kept his word."
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"Stars, I have seen them fall,
But when they drop and die
No star is lost at all
From all the star-sown sky.
The toil of all that be
Helps not the primal fault;
It rains into the sea
And still the sea is salt."
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"How clear, how lovely bright,
How beautiful to sight
Those beams of morning play;
How heaven laughs out with glee
Where, like a bird set free,
Up from the eastern sea
Soars the delightful day.

To-day I shall be strong,
No more shall yield to wrong,
Shall squander life no more;
Days lost, I know not how,
I shall retrieve them now;
Now I shall keep the vow
I never kept before.

Ensanguining the skies
How heavily it dies
Into the west away;
Past touch and sight and sound
Not further to be found,
How hopeless under ground
Falls the remorseful day."
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"Give me a land of boughs in leaf
A land of trees that stand;
Where trees are fallen there is grief;
I love no leafless land."
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"I, a stranger and afraid
In a world I never made."
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Books by A.E. Housman

  • A Shropshire Lad
  • 2,308 ratings
  • July 1st 1990 by Dover Publications

    (first published 1896)

  • Last Poems
  • 120 ratings
  • April 16th 2004 by Kessinger Publishing

    (first published 1922)

A.E. Housman
  • A.E. Housman

  • Date of birth: March 26, 1859
  • Died: April 30, 1936
  • Born: in Worcestershire, The United Kingdom.

  • Description: Alfred Edward (A.E.) Housman was a noted classical scholar and a poet. To the wider public he is best known for his poem "A Shropshire Lad" (1896), while to his fellow classicists it is his critical editing of Manilius that has earned him enduring fame.

    Housman was born on March 26, 1859 in Fockbury, Worcestershire, England, the eldest of seven children. A gifted student Housman won a scholarship to Oxford where he performed well, but failed to gain a degree, due to his neglect, for various reasons, of subjects that did not pique his interest (philosophy, and ancient history). Frustrated he gained at job as a patent clerk, but continued his research in the classical studies, publishing a variety of well regarded papers. After a decade his reputation was such that he was able to obtain a position at University College London (1992). In 1911 he took the Kennedy Professorship of Latin at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he remained for the rest of his life.

    As a scholar Housman concentrated on Latin. His work on Manilus' "Astronomica", between 1903-30, where he published a five volume critical edition, is the definitive text. Housman the poet produced lyrics that express a Romantic pessimism in a spare, simple style. Some of the asperity and directness that appears in Housman's lyrics also is found in his scholarship, in which he defended common sense with a sarcastic wit that helped to make him widely feared.

    There are several biographies of Housman, and a The Housman Society http://www.housman-society.co.uk/

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