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A.E. Housman Quotes

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A.E. Housman Quote: “All knowledge is precious whether or not it serves the slightest human use.”

All knowledge is precious whether or not it serves the slightest human use.

— A.E. Housman



A.E. Housman Quote: “Luck’s a chance, but trouble’s sure.”

Luck’s a chance, but trouble’s sure.

— A.E. Housman


A.E. Housman Quote: “They put arsenic in his meat And stared aghast to watch him eat; They poured strychnine in his cup And shook to see him drink it up.”

They put arsenic in his meat And stared aghast to watch him eat; They poured strychnine in his cup And shook to see him drink it up.

— A.E. Housman


A.E. Housman Quote: “I, a stranger and afraid, in a world I never made.”

I, a stranger and afraid, in a world I never made.

— A.E. Housman


A.E. Housman Quote: “Three minutes thought would suffice to find this out; but thought is irksome and three minutes is a long time.”

Three minutes thought would suffice to find this out; but thought is irksome and three minutes is a long time.

— A.E. Housman


A.E. Housman Quote: “Ten thousand times I’ve done my best and all’s to do again.”

Ten thousand times I’ve done my best and all’s to do again.

— A.E. Housman


A.E. Housman Quote: “Life, to be sure, is nothing much to lose, But young men think it is, and we were young.”

Life, to be sure, is nothing much to lose, But young men think it is, and we were young.

— A.E. Housman


A.E. Housman Quote: “With rue my heart is laden For golden friends I had, For many a rose-lipped maiden And many a lightfoot lad.”

With rue my heart is laden For golden friends I had, For many a rose-lipped maiden And many a lightfoot lad.

— A.E. Housman


A.E. Housman Quote: “I could no more define poetry than a terrier can define a rat.”

I could no more define poetry than a terrier can define a rat.

— A.E. Housman


A.E. Housman Quote: “Oh I have been to Ludlow fair, and left my necktie God knows where. And carried half way home, or near, pints and quarts of Ludlow beer.”

Oh I have been to Ludlow fair, and left my necktie God knows where. And carried half way home, or near, pints and quarts of Ludlow beer.

— A.E. Housman



A.E. Housman Quote: “Oh who is that young sinner with the handcuffs on his wrist? And what has he been after that they groan and shake their fists? And wherefore is he wearing such a conscience-stricken air? Oh they’re taking him to prison for the colour of his hair.”

Oh who is that young sinner with the handcuffs on his wrist? And what has he been after that they groan and shake their fists? And wherefore is he wearing such a conscience-stricken air? Oh they’re taking him to prison for the colour of his hair.

— A.E. Housman


A.E. Housman Quote: “Now hollow fires burn out to black, And lights are guttering low: Square your shoulders, lift your pack And leave your friends and go.”

Now hollow fires burn out to black, And lights are guttering low: Square your shoulders, lift your pack And leave your friends and go.

— A.E. Housman


A.E. Housman Quote: “And silence sounds no worse than cheers After earth has stopped the ears.”

And silence sounds no worse than cheers After earth has stopped the ears.

— A.E. Housman


A.E. Housman Quote: “Happy bridegroom, Hesper brings All desired and timely things. All whom morning sends to roam, Hesper loves to lead them home. Home return who him behold, Child to mother, sheep to fold, Bird to nest from wandering wide: Happy bridegroom, seek your bride.”

Happy bridegroom, Hesper brings All desired and timely things. All whom morning sends to roam, Hesper loves to lead them home. Home return who him behold, Child to mother, sheep to fold, Bird to nest from wandering wide: Happy bridegroom, seek your bride.

— A.E. Housman


A.E. Housman Quote: “They say my verse is sad: no wonder; Its narrow measure spans Tears of eternity, and sorrow, Not mine. but man’s.”

They say my verse is sad: no wonder; Its narrow measure spans Tears of eternity, and sorrow, Not mine. but man’s.

— A.E. Housman


A.E. Housman Quote: “And how am I to face the odds Of man’s bedevilment and God’s? I, a stranger and afraid In a world I never made.”

And how am I to face the odds Of man’s bedevilment and God’s? I, a stranger and afraid In a world I never made.

— A.E. Housman


A.E. Housman Quote: “June suns, you cannot store them To warm the winter’s cold, The lad that hopes for heaven Shall fill his mouth with mould.”

June suns, you cannot store them To warm the winter’s cold, The lad that hopes for heaven Shall fill his mouth with mould.

— A.E. Housman


A.E. Housman Quote: “A moment’s thought would have shown him. But a moment is a long time, and thought is a painful process.”

A moment’s thought would have shown him. But a moment is a long time, and thought is a painful process.

— A.E. Housman


A.E. Housman Quote: “Hope lies to mortals And most believe her, But man’s deceiver Was never mine.”

Hope lies to mortals And most believe her, But man’s deceiver Was never mine.

— A.E. Housman


A.E. Housman Quote: “The troubles of our proud and angry dust are from eternity, and shall not fail. Bear them we can, and if we can we must. Shoulder the sky, my lad, and drink your ale.”

The troubles of our proud and angry dust are from eternity, and shall not fail. Bear them we can, and if we can we must. Shoulder the sky, my lad, and drink your ale.

— A.E. Housman



A.E. Housman Quote: “Strapped, noosed, nighing his hour, He stood and counted them and cursed his luck; And then the clock collected in the tower Its strength, and struck.”

Strapped, noosed, nighing his hour, He stood and counted them and cursed his luck; And then the clock collected in the tower Its strength, and struck.

— A.E. Housman


A.E. Housman Quote: “The mortal sickness of a mind too unhappy to be kind.”

The mortal sickness of a mind too unhappy to be kind.

— A.E. Housman


A.E. Housman Quote: “That is the land of lost content, I see it shining plain, the happy highways where I went and cannot come again.”

That is the land of lost content, I see it shining plain, the happy highways where I went and cannot come again.

— A.E. Housman


A.E. Housman Quote: “Great literature should do some good to the reader: must quicken his perception though dull, and sharpen his discrimination though blunt, and mellow the rawness of his personal opinions.”

Great literature should do some good to the reader: must quicken his perception though dull, and sharpen his discrimination though blunt, and mellow the rawness of his personal opinions.

— A.E. Housman


A.E. Housman Quote: “Give crowns and pounds and guineas But not your heart away; Give pearls away and rubies, But keep your fancy free.”

Give crowns and pounds and guineas But not your heart away; Give pearls away and rubies, But keep your fancy free.

— A.E. Housman


A.E. Housman Quote: “The rainy Pleiads wester Orion plunges prone, And midnight strikes and hastens, And I lie down alone.”

The rainy Pleiads wester Orion plunges prone, And midnight strikes and hastens, And I lie down alone.

— A.E. Housman


A.E. Housman Quote: “All knots that lovers tie Are tied to sever. Here shall your sweetheart lie, Untrue for ever.”

All knots that lovers tie Are tied to sever. Here shall your sweetheart lie, Untrue for ever.

— A.E. Housman


A.E. Housman Quote: “The house of delusions is cheap to build but drafty to live in.”

The house of delusions is cheap to build but drafty to live in.

— A.E. Housman


A.E. Housman Quote: “Could man be drunk for ever With liquor, love, or fights, Lief should I rouse at morning And lief lie down of nights. But men at whiles are sober And think by fits and starts, And if they think, they fasten Their hands upon their hearts.”

Could man be drunk for ever With liquor, love, or fights, Lief should I rouse at morning And lief lie down of nights. But men at whiles are sober And think by fits and starts, And if they think, they fasten Their hands upon their hearts.

— A.E. Housman


A.E. Housman Quote: “Nature, not content with denying him the ability to think, has endowed him with the ability to write.”

Nature, not content with denying him the ability to think, has endowed him with the ability to write.

— A.E. Housman


A.E. Housman Quote: “Stone, steel, dominions pass, Faith too, no wonder; So leave alone the grass That I am under.”

Stone, steel, dominions pass, Faith too, no wonder; So leave alone the grass That I am under.

— A.E. Housman


A.E. Housman Quote: “I think that to transfuse emotion – not to transmit thought but to set up in the reader’s sense a vibration corresponding to what was felt by the writer – is the peculiar function of poetry.”

I think that to transfuse emotion – not to transmit thought but to set up in the reader’s sense a vibration corresponding to what was felt by the writer – is the peculiar function of poetry.

— A.E. Housman


A.E. Housman Quote: “Do not ever read books about versification: no poet ever learnt it that way. If you are going to be a poet, it will come to you naturally and you will pick up all you need from reading poetry.”

Do not ever read books about versification: no poet ever learnt it that way. If you are going to be a poet, it will come to you naturally and you will pick up all you need from reading poetry.

— A.E. Housman


A.E. Housman Quote: “Tell me not here, it needs not saying, What tune the enchantress plays In aftermaths of soft September Or under blanching mays, For she and I were long acquainted And I knew all her ways.”

Tell me not here, it needs not saying, What tune the enchantress plays In aftermaths of soft September Or under blanching mays, For she and I were long acquainted And I knew all her ways.

— A.E. Housman


A.E. Housman Quote: “White in the moon the long road lies.”

White in the moon the long road lies.

— A.E. Housman


A.E. Housman Quote: “Therefore, since the world has still Much good, but much less good than ill, And while the sun and moon endure Luck’s a chance, but trouble’s sure, I’d face it as a wise man would, And train for ill and not for good.”

Therefore, since the world has still Much good, but much less good than ill, And while the sun and moon endure Luck’s a chance, but trouble’s sure, I’d face it as a wise man would, And train for ill and not for good.

— A.E. Housman


A.E. Housman Quote: “Poetry is not the thing said, but the way of saying it.”

Poetry is not the thing said, but the way of saying it.

— A.E. Housman


A.E. Housman Quote: “Ale, man, ale’s the stuff to drink for fellows whom it hurts to think.”

Ale, man, ale’s the stuff to drink for fellows whom it hurts to think.

— A.E. Housman


A.E. Housman Quote: “These, in the day when heaven was falling, The hour when earth’s foundations fled, Followed their mercenary calling And took their wages and are dead. The British regulars who made the retreat from Mons, beginning August 24, 1914.”

These, in the day when heaven was falling, The hour when earth’s foundations fled, Followed their mercenary calling And took their wages and are dead. The British regulars who made the retreat from Mons, beginning August 24, 1914.

— A.E. Housman


A.E. Housman Quote: “In every American there is an air of incorrigible innocence, which seems to conceal a diabolical cunning.”

In every American there is an air of incorrigible innocence, which seems to conceal a diabolical cunning.

— A.E. Housman


A.E. Housman Quote: “There, by the starlit fences The wanderer halts and hears My soul that lingers sighing About the glimmering weirs.”

There, by the starlit fences The wanderer halts and hears My soul that lingers sighing About the glimmering weirs.

— A.E. Housman


A.E. Housman Quote: “I sought them far and found them, The sure, the straight, the brave, The hearts I lost my own to, The souls I could not save They braced their belts about them, They crossed in ships the sea, They sought and found six feet of ground, And there they died for me.”

I sought them far and found them, The sure, the straight, the brave, The hearts I lost my own to, The souls I could not save They braced their belts about them, They crossed in ships the sea, They sought and found six feet of ground, And there they died for me.

— A.E. Housman


A.E. Housman Quote: “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.”

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.

— A.E. Housman


A.E. Housman Quote: “Perfect understanding will sometimes almost extinguish pleasure.”

Perfect understanding will sometimes almost extinguish pleasure.

— A.E. Housman


A.E. Housman Quote: “Shoulder the sky, my lad, and drink your ale.”

Shoulder the sky, my lad, and drink your ale.

— A.E. Housman


A.E. Housman Quote: “The laws of God, the laws of man, He may keep that will and can; Not I: let God and man decree Laws for themselves and not for me.”

The laws of God, the laws of man, He may keep that will and can; Not I: let God and man decree Laws for themselves and not for me.

— A.E. Housman


A.E. Housman Quote: “Earth and high heaven are fixed of old and founded strong.”

Earth and high heaven are fixed of old and founded strong.

— A.E. Housman


A.E. Housman Quote: “To justify God’s ways to man.”

To justify God’s ways to man.

— A.E. Housman


A.E. Housman Quote: “The average man, if he meddles with criticism at all, is a conservative critic.”

The average man, if he meddles with criticism at all, is a conservative critic.

— A.E. Housman


A.E. Housman Quote: “The bells they sound on Bredon, And still the steeples hum. “Come all to church, good people”- Oh, noisy bells, be dumb; I hear you, I will come.”

The bells they sound on Bredon, And still the steeples hum. “Come all to church, good people”- Oh, noisy bells, be dumb; I hear you, I will come.

— A.E. Housman

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