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William Butler Yeats

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

Ephemera


'YOUR eyes that once were never weary of mine
Are bowed in sotrow under pendulous lids,
Because our love is waning.'
And then She:
'Although our love is waning, let us stand
By the lone border of the lake once more,
Together in that hour of gentleness
When the poor tired child, passion, falls asleep.
How far away the stars seem, and how far
Is our first kiss, and ah, how old my heart!'
Pensive they paced along the faded leaves,
While slowly he whose hand held hers replied:
'Passion has often worn our wandering hearts.'
The woods were round them, and the yellow leaves
Fell like faint meteors in the gloom, and once
A rabbit old and lame limped down the path;
Autumn was over him: and now they stood
On the lone border of the lake once more:
Turning, he saw that she had thrust dead leaves
Gathered in silence, dewy as her eyes,
In bosom and hair.
'Ah, do not mourn,' he said,
'That we are tired, for other loves await us;
Hate on and love through unrepining hours.
Before us lies eternity; our souls
Are love, and a continual farewell.'

Submitted: Tuesday, May 15, 2001
Edited: Tuesday, May 15, 2001

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Comments about this poem (Ephemera by William Butler Yeats )

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  • Ross Tirapelle (11/25/2009 8:48:00 PM)

    It is beautiful but really sad... Love gained only to be lost in a never ending series of farewells. (Report) Reply

  • Art Dent (5/11/2007 11:08:00 PM)

    It's odd. 'Ephemera' seems to describe my life at so many points in time. Everything eventually becomes a hobby in my life, whether that be good or bad.

    In place of relationships I think I keep a heart basket: a kind of vasiculum of feminine emotions gleaned from those who granted them to me. My heart will rarely stay with another for long, so I have no connection with the hearts in my basket other than that of owner to trinket.

    Now, lest you think me cruel, I must say that I am not aware of ever keeping whole hearts imprisoned. It seems that when my heart begins again to rise from its temporary resting place on a woman, her heart seems as well to become more her own. Lest, though, I be left utterly destitute, I wield the fine scalpel of time and chance which happeneth to them all and take a small piece of her heart to keep, as a page in a memorandum-book, as a reminder and a possession.

    Few women own such a scalpel, else would my heart be disseminated across continent and perhaps globe; and I would have little with which to purchase hearts for my own collection and much sorrow about which to write —(for everywhere a piece of your heart goes, there follows a portion of your soul, like an all-seeing eye) .

    http: //sehr-gut.blogspot.com/2004/11/heart-basket.html (Report) Reply

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