William Butler Yeats

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

After Long Silence


Speech after long silence; it is right,
All other lovers being estranged or dead,
Unfriendly lamplight hid under its shade,
The curtains drawn upon unfriendly night,
That we descant and yet again descant
Upon the supreme theme of Art and Song:
Bodily decrepitude is wisdom; young
We loved each other and were ignorant.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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  • Rookie Andrew Hoellering (10/2/2009 7:23:00 AM)

    This is a wonderful poem.
    The lamplight is unfriendly because the lovers have been around but now are both old.
    The night is unfriendly because they can no longer go a' roving under the light of the moon.
    The concluding lines tell us that both recognise that wisdom is the product of age and experience.
    For the young, love is the be-all and end-all, sufficient in itself unto the day. (Report) Reply

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