Friday poem 16: W B Yeats “When you are old and grey…”

11 Sep

A lovely classic, but also a classic put-down in its way.

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.


Posted by on September 11, 2009 in Irish, poets and poetry


Tags: ,

3 responses to “Friday poem 16: W B Yeats “When you are old and grey…”

  1. Julie

    September 12, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    A put down in what way?

  2. Neil

    September 12, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    It can be read as a curse.

  3. Julie

    September 14, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    mmm … not by me.

    The man loved so much that he let him/her go and watched from afar within a crowd of other potential lovers. Although it fled, it was still love.


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