That is the land of lost content, I see it shining plain, the happy highways where I went and cannot come again.
All knowledge is precious whether or not it serves the slightest human use.
The house of delusions is cheap to build but drafty to live in.
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.
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.
Into my hear an air that kills through yon far country blows what are those blue remembered hills what spires,what farms are those? that is the land of lost content I can see it shining plain the happy highways where I went and cannot come again.
If a man will comprehend the richness and variety of the universe, and inspire his mind with a due measure of wonder and awe, he must contemplate the human intellect not only on its heights of genius but in its abysses of ineptitude...
Three minutes thought would suffice to find this out; but thought is irksome and three minutes is a long time.
Life, to be sure, is nothing much to lose, But young men think it is, and we were young.
With rue my heart is laden For golden friends I had, For many a rose-lipped maiden And many a lightfoot lad.
I do not choose the right word, I get rid of the wrong one.
Ale, man, ale's the stuff to drink for fellows whom it hurts to think.
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.
Housman is one of my heroes and always has been. He was a detestable and miserable man. Arrogant, unspeakably lonely, cruel, and so on, but and absolutely marvellous minor poet, I think, and a great scholar.
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.
I could no more define poetry than a terrier can define a rat.
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 moment's thought would have shown him. But a moment is a long time, and thought is a painful process.
Ten thousand times I've done my best and all's to do again.
The average man, if he meddles with criticism at all, is a conservative critic.
There, by the starlit fences The wanderer halts and hears My soul that lingers sighing About the glimmering weirs.
Clay lies still, but blood's a rover;
Breath's aware that will not keep.
Up, lad: when the journey's over then there'll be time enough to sleep.
Perfect understanding will sometimes almost extinguish pleasure.
We now to peace and darkness And earth and thee restore Thy creature that thou madest And wilt cast forth no more.
Good religious poetry... is likely to be most justly appreciated and most discriminately relished by the undevout.
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