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.
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.
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.
Source: The Rose, 1893. When You Are Old, st. 2
You think it horrible that lust and rage Should dance attention upon my old age; They were not such a plague when I was young; What else have I to spur me into song?
Source: Last Poems, 1936–1939, The Spur
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