Never to have lived is best, ancient writers say. Never to have drawn the breath of life, never to have looked into the eye of day; The second best's a gay goodnight and quickly turn away.
William Butler Yeats (1865 - 1939)
Source: "Oedipus at Colonus,
Contributed by: Zaady
The night can sweat with terror as before We pieced our thoughts into philosophy, And planned to bring the world under a rule, Who are but weasels fighting in a hole.
Source: The Tower, 1928. Nineteen Hundred and Nineteen
Why, what could she have done, being what she is? Was there another Troy for her to burn?
Source: The Green Helmet and Other Poems, 1910. No Second Troy
Pardon, old fathers.
Source: Responsibilities, 1914, preliminary poem
An old man's eagle mind.
Source: Last Poems, 1936–1939, An Acre of Grass
Grant me an old man's frenzy, Myself must I remake Till I am Timon and Lear Or that William Blake Who beat upon the wall Till Truth obeyed his call.
Things said or done long years ago Or things I did not do or say But thought that I might say or do, Weigh me down, and not a day But something is recalled, My conscience or my vanity appalled.
Source: The Winding Stair and Other Poems, 1933;. Vacillation, III
Think where man's glory most begins and ends, And say my glory was I had such friends.
Source: Last Poems, 1936–1939, The Municipal Gallery Revisited
Now that my ladder's gone, I must lie down where all the ladders start, In the foul rag-and-bone shop of the heart.
Source: Last Poems,1936–1939, The Circus Animal’s Desertion, III
If soul my look and body touch, Which is the more blest?
Source: Last Poems, 1936–1939, The Lady’s Second Song, st. 3.
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