Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Poem - When You Are Old by W.B.Yeats


When You Are Old

W. B. Yeats, 1865 - 1939

When you are old and grey 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.


Yeats was born in Dublin, the son of the well-known Irish painter John Butler Yeats. He initially intended to follow in the footsteps of his father but came to prefer poetry. He became deeply involved in Irish politics, was a strong advocate for independence from England, and at the forefront of the Celtic Revival. The great love of his life was the Irish revolutionary Maud Gonne, equally famous for her intense nationalist politics and her beauty. She was a strong influence on Yeats’ poetry but in 1903 married another man. Yeats eventually married another woman in 1917. The marriage lasted until his death in 1939.
       Yeats was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1923.



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