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

When Helen Lived
by William Butler Yeats
from Responsibilities [1914]




We have cried in our despair
That men desert,
For some trivial affair
Or noisy, insolent, sport,
Beauty that we have won
From bitterest hours;
Yet we, had we walked within
Those topless towers
Where Helen walked with her boy,
Had given but as the rest
Of the men and women of Troy,
A word and a jest.



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