The Results Of Thought

Hesitate or stay?


 By William Butler Yeats


The Results Of Thought 


ACQUAINTANCE; companion;

One dear brilliant woman;

The best-endowed, the elect,

All by their youth undone,

All, all, by that inhuman

Bitter glory wrecked.

But I have straightened out

Ruin, wreck and wrack;

I toiled long years and at length

Came to so deep a thought

I can summon back

All their wholesome strength.

What images are these

That turn dull-eyed away,

Or Shift Time's filthy load,

Straighten aged knees,

Hesitate or stay?

What heads shake or nod?




The New Faces 



IF you, that have grown old, were the first dead,

Neither catalpa tree nor scented lime

Should hear my living feet, nor would I tread

Where we wrought that shall break the teeth of Time.

Let the new faces play what tricks they will

In the old rooms; night can outbalance day,

Our shadows rove the garden gravel still,

The living seem more shadowy than they.




The Travail Of Passion 




WHEN the flaming lute-thronged angelic door is wide;

When an immortal passion breathes in mortal clay;

Our hearts endure the scourge, the plaited thorns, the way

Crowded with bitter faces, the wounds in palm and side,

The vinegar-heavy sponge, the flowers by Kedron stream;

We will bend down and loosen our hair over you,

That it may drop faint perfume, and be heavy with dew,

Lilies of death-pale hope, roses of passionate dream.






THIS night has been so strange that it seemed

As if the hair stood up on my head.

From going-down of the sun I have dreamed

That women laughing, or timid or wild,

In rustle of lace or silken stuff,

Climbed up my creaking stair. They had read

All I had rhymed of that monstrous thing

Returned and yet unrequited love.

They stood in the door and stood between

My great wood lectern and the fire

Till I could hear their hearts beating:

One is a harlot, and one a child

That never looked upon man with desire.

And one, it may be, a queen.



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