What accounts for the change in the speaker's attitude at the end of A Shropshire Lad XIII by A. E. Housman?

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thanatassa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A. E. Housman's poem, A Shropshire Lad XIII: When I was one-and-twenty, is spoken in the voice of a first person narrator narrating a series of events in the past. The first event is the advice given by a wise man that one should give money but not your heart away; although the recipient is not specified, the list of money and jewellery suggests women, probably of ill repute. The second warning, at an unspecified later time suggests that giving away one's heart will result in sorrow. The third event is the speaker's admission that the statement is true. This implies that between lines 14 and 15, the speaker did fall in love, and is now regretting it; thus the change is accounted for by an unhappy love relationship.

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A Shropshire Lad

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