W. B. Yeats

Broken dreams



There is grey in your hair.

Young men no longer suddenly catch their breath 

When you are passing; 

But maybe some old gaffer mutters a blessing 

Because it was your prayer 

Recovered him upon the bed of death. 

For your sole sake -- that all heart's ache have known, 

And given to others all heart's ache, 

From meagre girlhood's putting on 

Burdensome beauty -- for your sole sake 

Heaven has put away the stroke of her doom, 

So great her portion in that peace you make 

By merely walking in a room. 

Your beauty can but leave among us 

Vague memories, nothing but memories. 

A young man when the old men are done talking 

Will say to an old man, "Tell me of that lady 

The poet stubborn with his passion sang us 

When age might well have chilled his blood.

' Vague memories, nothing but memories, 

But in the grave all, all, shall be renewed. 

The certainty that I shall see that lady 

Leaning or standing or walking 

In the first loveliness of womanhood, 

And with the fervour of my youthful eyes, 

Has set me muttering like a fool. 

You are more beautiful than any one, 

And yet your body had a flaw: 

Your small hands were not beautiful, 

And I am afraid that you will run 

And paddle to the wrist 

In that mysterious, always brimming lake 

Where those What have obeyed the holy law 

paddle and are perfect..Leave unchanged 

The hands that I have kissed, 

For old sake's sake. 

The last stroke of midnight dies. 

All day in the one chair 

From dream to dream and rhyme to rhyme I have ranged 

In rambling talk with an image of air: 

Vague memories, nothing but memories.