With rue my heart is laden

A Shropshire Lad

With rue my heart is laden
For golden friends I had, C
For many a rose-lipt maiden C
And many a lightfoot lad. C
By brooks too broad for leaping 5
The lightfoot boys are laid; Q
The rose-lipt girls are sleeping
In fields where roses fade. Q
Key: V: Textual Variation. C: Commentary. Q: Question. Glossary


ASL LIV “With rue my heart is laden”

Top ▲ Glossary

Line Word Glossary
1 rue Regret
3 rose-lipt Rose-lipped
4 lightfoot Elision of “light-of-foot”?


Top ▲ Commentary

Line Commentary
Date: Aug 1893
2 golden: echoes of the “Golden Age” of Classical mythology
3 The youth, innocence and beauty of the girls are all caught in “rose-lipt”
4 Once again, carefree youth seems to be caught in the phrase “lightfoot lad”, reinforced by the alliteration
meter Four line stanzas with alternating lines of seven and six syllables, rhymed alternately.


Top ▲ Questions

Line Question
6 Why does the poet change “maiden” and “lad” in the first stanza to “boys” and “girls” in the second?
8 Compare the idea here with the “unwithered…garland” of the athlete in ASL XIX (ll.27-8).
Whole poem Examine the use of alliteration throughout the poem.
Whole poem What does the poem add to our overall sense of how untimely death of youth is presented throughout the collection?