File:William Butler Yeat by George Charles Beresford.jpg
Yeats [by George Charles Beresford, 1911]


Against Unworthy Praise
by William Butler Yeats

from The Green Helmet and Other Poems  [Dundrum: Cuala Press, 1910]

O heart, be at peace, because
Nor knave nor dolt can break
What’s not for their applause,
Being for a woman’s sake.
Enough if the work has seemed,
So did she your strength renew,
A dream that a lion had dreamed
Till the wilderness cried aloud,
A secret between you two,
Between the proud and the proud.

What, still you would have their praise!
But here’s a haughtier text,
The labyrinth of her days
That her own strangeness perplexed;
And how what her dreaming gave
Earned slander, ingratitude,
From self-same dolt and knave;
Aye, and worse wrong than these.
Yet she, singing upon her road,
Half lion, half child, is at peace.

 


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