By Essay Housman I One Twenty When

In the land to which I travel, The far dwelling, let me say— Once, if here the couch is gravel, In a kinder bed I lay, And the breast the darnel smothers Rested once upon another’s When it was not clay.

and the scholar, severe and often caustic, who held chairs of Latin at University College, London, and at Cambridge University.

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The piece is simply worded but contains references to the now superseded coins, guineas and crowns.

It is the monologue of a young man of twenty-two who reflects on the truth of the advice given him a year before not to give his heart away in love.

The most consistent trait in his life, however, was his political and social conservatism.

Here, therefore, it may be worthwhile to consider his conservatism in politics, art, and scholarship.

Later the more likely interpretation of the poem's inspiration as referring to Housman's unrequited love for a fellow male student at university has gained currency.

On your midnight pallet lying, Listen, and undo the door: Lads that waste the light in sighing In the dark should sigh no more; Night should ease a lover’s sorrow; Therefore, since I go to-morrow, Pity me before.


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