When You Are Old

WHEN you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;
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;
And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

by William Butler Yeats

Comments (51)

Moments of glad grace and the pilgrim soul so real a sense and rhythm of a time of life
When you are old and grey and full of sleep. Well communicated.
And thank Lord he hid his face Else he would not have a face I'd have stuck this hot bar in his face I opened his suitcase, his drawers and found, would you believe it! tons of love letters he wrote and got from his lovers all life Unbeknownst to me he was a rat A rotte, rotten stinking rat and I thought he dearly loved me
Yeats craftily and sensatively catches the unchaning love in the passing time. He expresses sadness, but without anxiety and anger; he praises true love, but without joy and excitement. He mixes chagrin with hope, which constructs a deep-laden tone for the audience.
A sad but a moment inescapable for us all
See More