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Posted by on Apr 15, 2008

Yeats, Gonne and 15 year olds


I have burdened my handful of readers enough with my own verse. Now, it is time to turn to the master himself, William Butler Yeats. This same poem caught my eye when I was fifteen, in Ohio and wondering what I might be. From that moment on, I was hooked on verse. It is so incredibly simple and altogether beautiful. A work of true devotion.
He was writing about this woman, Maud Gonne. It is even more poignant because he never won her heart. And seriously, if these poems can’t win her heart, it just isn’t going to happen.

WHEN you are old and gray and full of sleep
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true;
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face.

And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead,
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.
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1 Comment

  1. i love that poem…

    changed your style, did ya now?

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