Tuesday, May 01, 2007

A Late Poem

I've never claimed this blog is timely. National Poetry Month ended yesterday, so here's a belated mini-celebration -- one of my favorites, "When You Are Old" by Yeats:

When You Are Old

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.


Anonymous Mom said...

As a mother and grandmother, I really love the verses Yeats wrote when his children were born. He was married late and became a father when he was around 50.

Anne (born 1919) and for whom he wrote "A Prayer for My Daughter";

May she be granted beauty and yet not
Beauty to make a stranger's eye distraught,
Or hers before a looking-glass, for such,
Being made beautiful overmuch,
Consider beauty a sufficient end,
Lose natural kindness and maybe
The heart-revealing intimacy
That chooses right, and never find a friend.

Michael was born on 22 August 1921, for whom Yeats wrote "A Prayer for My Son";

Bid a strong ghost stand at the head
That my Michael may sleep sound,
Nor cry, nor turn in the bed
Till his morning meal come round;
And may departing twilight keep
All dread afar till morning's back.

Thanks for refreshing my poetic memories.


12:16 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home