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When You Are Old


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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 his his face amid a crowd of stars.


W. B. Yeats (1865-1939)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Mary, it took me two readings to grasp the poetry in that Yeats. I wonder if he knew he would die before his love object, or if he was speaking universally for all men and women who have loved or been loved. I find fireplaces and books extremely romantic and evidently so did Yeats.

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