Speech after long silence; it is right, All other lovers being estranged or dead . . . That we descant and yet again descant Upon the supreme theme of Art and Song: Bodily decrepitude is wisdom; young We loved each other and were ignorant.
William Butler Yeats (1865 - 1939)
Source: The Winding Stair and Other Poems, 1933;. After Long Silence
I see my life go drifting like a river From change to change; I have been many things - A green drop in the surge, a gleam of light Upon a sword, a fir tree on a hill, An old slave grinding at a heavy quern, A king sitting upon a chair of gold - And all these things were wonderful and great; But now I have grown nothing, knowing all. Ah! Druid, Druid, how great webs of sorrow Lay hidden in that small slate-coloured thing!
I made my song a coat Covered with embroideries Out of old mythologies From heel to throat But the fools caught it, Wore it in the world's eyes As though they'd wrought it. Song, let them take it, For there's more enterprise In walking naked.