Oh, when I was in love with you

A Shropshire Lad

Oh, when I was in love with you
Then I was clean and brave,
V And miles around the wonder grew
How well did I behave.
V And now the fancy passes by 5
And nothing will remain,
V And miles around they’ll say that I Q
V Am quite myself again.
Key: V: Textual Variation. C: Commentary. Q: Question. Glossary


ASL XVIII “Oh, when I was in love with you”

Top ▲ Glossary

Line Word Glossary
5 Fancy As a noun:
1. An impulsive desire for something
2. An unfounded belief about something
3. The faculty of using the imagination playfully or inventively
4. Something created by the imagination, especially something of a playful or superficial nature


Top ▲ Commentary

Line Commentary
Date: May 1895 (First Draft) and May-June 1895 (Second Draft)
Metre Four line stanzas, alternately rhymed, with odd numbered lines having eight syllables (iambic quatrameter) and even six syllables (iambic trimeter)


Top ▲ Variations

Line Text Textual variation
3 d1 And miles around] In town \ farm / and field
3 d2 \ <In town and field>/
5 d1 /
And] \ But /
5 d1 fancy passes by] <shallow fount is dry> \[?flaring] flash is by/,
5 d2 fancy \<wonder>/ passes by
7 d1 And town \ farm / and field will <see> \ see / that I \ the wonder, it will end, and I /
7 d2 <The wonder, it will end, and I> And miles around they say that I
8 d1 Am quite myself again \ Shall be myself again /
8 d2 <Shall be myself again> Am quite myself again


Top ▲ Questions

Line Question
7 Consider the repetition of “And” at the beginning of lines 5, 6 and 7: what effect does it have?
Whole poem What sort of attitude to romantic love does the poem put forward?
Whole poem What is the effect of the regular lines with even numbers of syllables?
Whole poem How would you describe the overall mood of the poem? What has the poet done to create this mood?