Famous Sad Love Poem

This poem by William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) was published in 1893 when he was 28. He was an Irish poet who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1923. This poem is addressed to the speaker’s lover, and in the end, shows the love did not last. People consider this poem to be about Maud Gonne. He loved her, but she married another man. This poem follows the ABBA rhyme scheme, which is not seen frequently in poetry except for Italian (Petrarchan) sonnets.

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In this poem, Yeats has used a universal theme. In their youth, many behave in a thoughtless manner and they miss certain things in life. Through his personal experience, Yeats makes the...

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When You Are Old

William Butler Yeats By more William Butler Yeats

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.

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Has this poem touched you? Share your story!
  • Kumari Weerasooriya by Kumari Weerasooriya
  • 4 months ago

In this poem, Yeats has used a universal theme. In their youth, many behave in a thoughtless manner and they miss certain things in life. Through his personal experience, Yeats makes the readers understand that fact not to make mistakes in youth which will make them recall and suffer in their old age.

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