William Butler Yeats

(13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939 / County Dublin / Ireland)

A Man Young And Old: Xi. From Oedipus At Colonus - Poem by William Butler Yeats

Endure what life God gives and ask no longer span;
Cease to remember the delights of youth, travel-wearied aged man;
Delight becomes death-longing if all longing else be vain.

Even from that delight memory treasures so,
Death, despair, division of families, all entanglements of mankind grow,
As that old wandering beggar and these God-hated children know.

In the long echoing street the laughing dancers throng,
The bride is carried to the bridegroom's chamber through torchlight and tumultuous song;
I celebrate the silent kiss that ends short life or long.

Never to have lived is best, ancient writers say;
Never to have drawn the breath of life, never to have looked into the eye of day;
The second best's a gay goodnight and quickly turn away.

Comments about A Man Young And Old: Xi. From Oedipus At Colonus by William Butler Yeats

  • Rookie James Graham (12/30/2011 2:44:00 AM)

    I am amazed by the lowness of the ratings that this masterpiece has received (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: travel, despair, memory, kiss, remember, death, children, song, god, life, hate, family, child

Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

Poem Edited: Wednesday, April 2, 2003

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