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

Beggar to Beggar Cried
by William Butler Yeats
from Responsibilities [1914]




“Time to put off the world and go somewhere
And find my health again in the sea air,”
Beggar to beggar cried, being frenzy-struck,
“And make my soul before my pate is bare.”

“And get a comfortable wife and house
To rid me of the devil in my shoes,”
Beggar to beggar cried, being frenzy-struck,
“And the worse devil that is between my thighs.”

“And though I’d marry with a comely lass,
She need not be too comely — let it pass,”
Beggar to beggar cried, being frenzy-struck,
“But there’s a devil in a looking-glass.”

“Nor should she be too rich, because the rich
Are driven by wealth as beggars by the itch,”
Beggar to beggar cried, being frenzy-struck,
“And cannot have a humorous happy speech.”

“And there I’ll grow respected at my ease,
And hear amid the garden’s nightly peace,”
Beggar to beggar cried, being frenzy-struck,
“The wind-blown clamour of the barnacle-geese.” 


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