Wednesday, October 16, 2019 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

A. E. Housman (1859 – 1936)


Usually known as A E Housman, was an English poet and classical scholar, now best known for his cycle of poems A Shropshire Lad.
A. E. Housman
Here dead we lie because we did not choose
To live and shame the land from which we sprung.
Life, to be sure, is nothing much to lose;
But young men think it is, and we were young.
Housman quotes
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.
Housman
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.




Housman A. E. quotes
With rue my heart is laden
For golden friends I had,
For many a rose-lipt maiden
And many a lightfoot lad.

By brooks too broad for leaping
The lightfoot boys are laid;
The rose-lipt girls are sleeping
In fields where roses fade.
Housman A. E.
From far, from eve and morning
And yon twelve-winded sky,
The stuff of life to knit me
Blew hither; here am I.
A. E. Housman quotes
Good-night; ensured release,
Imperishable peace,
Have these for yours,
While sea abides, and land,
And earth's foundations stand,
And heaven endures.
A. E. Housman
Nature, not content with denying to Mr the faculty of thought, has endowed him with the faculty of writing.
Housman A. E. quotes
My heart always warms to people who do not come to see me, especially Americans, to whom it seems to be more of an effort.
Housman
Most men are rather stupid, and most of those who are not stupid are, consequently, rather vain.
Housman A. E.
To-day, the road all runners come,
Shoulder-high, we bring you home,
And set you at your threshold down,
Townsman of a stiller town.
A. E. Housman
A textual critic engaged upon his business is not at all like Newton investigating the motions of the planets: he is much more like a dog hunting for fleas. If a dog hunted for fleas on mathematical principles, basing his researches on statistics of area and population, he would never catch a flea except by accident.




A. E. Housman quotes
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
Oh many a peer of England brews
Livelier liquor than the Muse,
And malt does more than Milton can
To justify God's ways to man.
Ale, man, ale's the stuff to drink
For fellows whom it hurts to think.
Housman quotes
Even when poetry has a meaning, as it usually has, it may be inadvisable to draw it out ... and perfect understanding will sometimes almost extinguish pleasure.
Housman A. E.
I find Cambridge an asylum, in every sense of the word.
Housman A. E. quotes
Into my heart an air that kills
From yon far country blows:
What are those blue remembered hills,
What spires, what farms are those?

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 man who possesses common sense and the use of reason must not expect to learn from treatises or lectures on textual criticism anything that he could not, with leisure and industry, find out for himself. What the lectures and treatises can do for him is to save him time and trouble by presenting to him immediately considerations which would in any case occur to him sooner or later.
A. E. Housman quotes
It is supposed that there has been progress in the science of textual criticism, and the most frivolous pretender has learned to talk superciliously about "the old unscientific days". The old unscientific days are everlasting; they are here and now; they are renewed perennially by the ear which takes formulas in, and the tongue which gives them out again, and the mind which meanwhile is empty of reflexion and stuffed with self-complacency.
A. E. Housman
Chorus: O suitably attired in leather boots
Head of a traveller, wherefore seeking whom
Whence by what way how purposed art thou come
To this well-nightingaled vicinity?
My object in inquiring is to know.
But if you happen to be deaf and dumb
And do not understand a word I say,
Nod with your hand to signify as much.
Alcmaeon: I journeyed hither a Boeotian road.
Chorus: Sailing on horseback or with feet for oars?
Alcmaeon: Plying by turns my partnership of legs.
Chorus: Beneath a shining or a rainy Zeus?
Alcmaeon: Mud's sister, not himself, adorns my shoes.
Chorus: To learn your name would not displease me much.
Alcmaeon: Not all that men desire do they attain.
Housman A. E.
Good literature continually read for pleasure must, let us hope, 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.


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