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

A Memory of Youth
by William Butler Yeats
from Responsibilities [1914]




The moments passed as at a play;
I had the wisdom love brings forth;
I had my share of mother-wit
And yet for all that I could say,
And though I had her praise for it,
A cloud blown from the cut-throat north
Suddenly hid Love’s moon away.

Believing every word I said
I praised her body and her mind
Till pride had made her eyes grow bright,
And pleasure made her cheeks grow red,
And vanity her footfall light,
Yet we, for all that praise, could find
Nothing but darkness overhead.

We sat as silent as a stone,
We knew, though she’d not said a word,
That even the best of love must die,
And had been savagely undone
Were it not that love upon the cry
Of a most ridiculous little bird
Tore from the clouds his marvellous moon.


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