William Butler Yeats

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

A Last Confession - Poem by William Butler Yeats

What lively lad most pleasured me
Of all that with me lay?
I answer that I gave my soul
And loved in misery,
But had great pleasure with a lad
That I loved bodily.

Flinging from his arms I laughed
To think his passion such
He fancied that I gave a soul
Did but our bodies touch,
And laughed upon his breast to think
Beast gave beast as much.

I gave what other women gave
That stepped out of their clothes.
But when this soul, its body off,
Naked to naked goes,
He it has found shall find therein
What none other knows,

And give his own and take his own
And rule in his own right;
And though it loved in misery
Close and cling so tight,
There's not a bird of day that dare
Extinguish that delight.


Comments about A Last Confession by William Butler Yeats

  • Susan Williams (7/28/2018 3:17:00 PM)


    As a discussion of sensuality and between men and women, tis very honest. I was a little surprised that it was written in the age that it was. But I am glad he wrote this (Report) Reply

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  • Dr.tony Brahmin (7/28/2018 8:11:00 AM)


    William Butler Yeats is a great poet whose we studied in the literature classes. may his soul rest in peace. tony (Report) Reply

  • Kumarmani Mahakul (7/28/2018 5:53:00 AM)


    I gave what other women gave
    That stepped out of their clothes.
    But when this soul, its body off,
    Naked to naked goes,
    He it has found shall find therein
    What none other knows, .....soul goes alone awithout body is so true. A beautiful poem well written by William Butler Years.
    (Report) Reply

  • Adrian Flett (7/28/2018 4:02:00 AM)


    A Last Confession by the greatest of poets. A metaphor of life lived and death, when it comes. (Report) Reply

  • Sylvia Frances Chan (7/28/2018 2:28:00 AM)


    Congratulations as Classic Poem Of The Day to the family and descendants of William B Butler Yeats in Ireland and around the globe. A Last Confession....his poem says it all. Thank you to Poem Hunter Team to have chosen his poem as Classic Poem Of The Day..Yeats is here crystal clear to tell us that he still has A Last Confession, in the way as he sees that: he dismisses Agape, Spiritual Love and chose Eros. (Report) Reply

  • (2/1/2014 1:31:00 AM)


    .......not exactly sure what this poet is trying to say...maybe his message is love one another.. (Report) Reply

  • (12/15/2009 2:37:00 AM)


    In answer to his rhetorical question, Yeats here dismisses agape, spiritual love, in favour of eros.

    The lover thinks that body and soul are one, but the woman knows better.The key lines come in the third verse when the poet states that the soul can only be reached through the body. Once revealed, the insight into the uniqueness of the individual is both priviledged -and magical.
    (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: women, passion, woman



Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003



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