William Butler Yeats

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

To A Friend Whose Work Has Come To Nothing - Poem by William Butler Yeats

NOW all the truth is out,
Be secret and take defeat
From any brazen throat,
For how can you compete,
Being honour bred, with one
Who, were it proved he lies,
Were neither shamed in his own
Nor in his neighbours' eyes?
Bred to a harder thing
Than Triumph, turn away
And like a laughing string
Whereon mad fingers play
Amid a place of stone,
Be secret and exult,
Because of all things known
That is most difficult.

Comments about To A Friend Whose Work Has Come To Nothing by William Butler Yeats

  • Rookie Harriet James (10/9/2012 2:40:00 PM)

    Still so true for today's workplace (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Rookie Dennis Ellenburg (6/26/2007 11:37:00 AM)

    one of the greater poems ever written. illustrates basest human character and the only possible repsonse. (Report) Reply

Read all 2 comments »

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Read poems about / on: truth, work, friend

Poem Submitted: Thursday, May 17, 2001

[Hata Bildir]