A. E. Housman Quotes (72 Quotes)


    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.

    Look not in my eyes, for fear; They mirror true the sight I see, And there you find your face too clear; And love it and be lost like me.

    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.

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

    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.


    Even when poetry has a meaning, as it usually has, it may be inadvisable to draw it out... Perfect understanding will sometimes almost extinguish pleasure.

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

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

    His folly has not fellow Beneath the blue of day That gives to man or woman His heart and soul away.

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

    Loveliest of trees, the cherry now Is hung with bloom along the bough, And stands about the woodland ride Wearing white for Eastertide.



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

    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 goal stands up, the keeper; Stands up to keep the goal.

    Good religious poetry . . . is likely to be most justly appreciated and most discriminately relished by the undevout.

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

    The man that runs away Lives to die another day.

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

    By brooks too broad for leaping The lightfoot boys are laid.

    The lads that will die in their glory and never be old.

    A neck God made for other use; Than strangling in a string.

    He stood, and heard the steeple Sprinkle the quarters on the morning town.

    When I was one-and-twenty I heard a wise man say, 'Give crowns and pounds and guineas But not your heart away.'

    From far, from eve and morning
    And yon twelve-winded sky,
    The stuff of life to knit me
    Blew hither: here am I.

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

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


    In all the endless road you tread There's nothing but the night.

    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 aplenty And sold for endless rue. And I am two-and-twenty, And Oh, tis true, tis true.'

    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.

    I am not a pessimist but a pejorist (as George Eliot said she was not an optimist but a meliorist) and that philosophy is founded on my observation of the world, not on anything so trivial and irrelevant as personal history.

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


    I wish you strength to bring you pride,
    And a love to keep you clean,
    And I wish you luck, come Lammastide,
    At racing on the green.

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

    I find Cambridge an asylum, in every sense of the word.

    Now, of my threescore years and ten, Twenty will not come again, And take from seventy springs a score, It only leaves me fifty more. And since to look at things in bloom Fifty springs are little room, About the woodlands I will go To see the cherry hung with snow.

    And sharp the link of life will snap,
    And dead on air will stand
    Heels that held up as straight a chap
    As treads upon the land.



    Oh they're taking him to prison for the color of his hair.

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


    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.


    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.

    But men at whiles are sober And think by fits and starts. And if they think, they fasten Their hands upon their hearts.


    More A. E. Housman Quotations (Based on Topics)


    Man - Love - Life - Nature - Night - Morning - World - Literature - Sleep - Eternity - Hope - Happiness - God - Memory - Poetry - Heaven - Fear - Pride - Death & Dying - View All A. E. Housman Quotations

    Related Authors


    William Wordsworth - William Blake - Emily Dickinson - Edgar Allan Poe - Dante Alighieri - Thomas Moore - Robert Browning - Omar Khayyam - Hesiod - Andrew Lang


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