William Butler Yeats

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

A Model For The Laureate

Poem by William Butler Yeats

ON thrones from China to Peru
All sorts of kings have sat
That men and women of all sorts
proclaimed both good and great;
And what's the odds if such as these
For reason of the State
Should keep their lovers waiting,
Keep their lovers waiting?
Some boast of beggar-kings and kings
Of rascals black and white
That rule because a strong right arm
Puts all men in a fright,
And drunk or sober live at ease
Where none gainsay their right,
And keep their lovers waiting,
Keep their lovers waiting.
The Muse is mute when public men
Applaud a modern throne:
Those cheers that can be bought or sold,
That office fools have run,
That waxen seal, that signature.
For things like these what decent man
Would keep his lover waiting,
Keep his lover waiting?


Comments about A Model For The Laureate by William Butler Yeats

  • Ratnakar Mandlik (9/24/2019 9:48:00 PM)

    " What decent man
    would keep his lover waiting"
    Price paid for the throne criticized in the superb poetic expression.(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
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  • Practicing PoetessPracticing Poetess (9/24/2019 9:11:00 PM)

    It's the old, timeless story, oft lamented, of the tug between duty (and obligations) , v.s. family and emotional ties.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • Kingsley EgbukoleKingsley Egbukole (9/24/2019 4:12:00 PM)

    Well articulated. Kingsley Egbukole(Report)Reply

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  • Anil Kumar PandaAnil Kumar Panda (9/24/2019 11:03:00 AM)

    Nation is supreme. Love is not. So one has to attend the call of the nation first. Love can wait. Very insightful poem with a nice flow. Thanks for sharing.(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
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  • Ramesh T ARamesh T A (9/24/2019 8:34:00 AM)

    Lovers can wait but not duties of a nation except fools ever! Nice composition by W B Yeats!(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • Chen YefengChen Yefeng (9/24/2019 4:54:00 AM)

    haha,good:
    ON thrones from China to Peru
    All sorts of kings have sat(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
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  • Uche NwanzeUche Nwanze (9/24/2019 2:54:00 AM)

    'The Muse is mute when public men applaud a modern throne'.
    A beautifully crafted piece deserving of POD.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • Dominic WindramDominic Windram (9/24/2019 2:41:00 AM)

    I think this poem needs to be placed in context. During the 1930's, Yeats composed numerous that were apparently designed primarily to separate himself from the eroto-phobic orthodoxy of the Free State.. The subject of ' a Model For The Laureate; is the necessary separation of the ability of statesmen from their private sexual lives, occasioned by the abdication crisis in England: I particularly admire its biting satire.(Report)Reply

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  • Mahtab BangaleeMahtab Bangalee (9/24/2019 2:19:00 AM)

    The Muse is mute when public men
    Applaud a modern throne: ..../// beautiful poetic expression(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • Luis Estable (9/24/2019 2:11:00 AM)

    I do not see his greatness in this not so well-thought out poem. It centers on kings or those kings and then the theme is they keep their love waiting, whatever meaning we want to give to this. Of the so many better poem he wrote, I am very put off by this weak one.(Report)Reply

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  • Richard Wlodarski (9/24/2018 11:56:00 PM)

    Excellent poem! Must read more of Yeats.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • Khairul AhsanKhairul Ahsan (9/24/2018 9:16:00 PM)

    'The Muse is mute when public men
    Applaud a modern throne:
    Those cheers that can be bought or sold,
    That office fools have run' - wonderful!(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • Khairul AhsanKhairul Ahsan (9/24/2018 9:15:00 PM)

    'And what's the odds if such as these
    For reason of the State
    Should keep their lovers waiting,
    Keep their lovers waiting? ' - A nice thought.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • Baquee Billah AhmedBaquee Billah Ahmed (9/24/2018 1:40:00 PM)

    nice poem.................................(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • Kumarmani MahakulKumarmani Mahakul (9/24/2018 10:48:00 AM)

    A beautiful and powerful composition of William Butler Yeats has been posted here and is being selected as the Poem of the day.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Savita TyagiSavita Tyagi (9/24/2018 9:04:00 AM)

    I just read this poem last month. As a matter of fact whole last week almost all the poems were repetition. Poemhunter Needs to its share of work to retain its visitors.There are plenty of poets classical or new age waiting to be read!(Report)Reply

    Richard Wlodarski(9/24/2018 11:55:00 PM)

    In Total Agreement with you, Savita! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

    Khairul AhsanKhairul Ahsan(9/24/2018 9:12:00 PM)

    Yes, I agree with @Savita Tyagi.

    2 person liked.
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  • Muzahidul Reza (9/24/2018 4:40:00 AM)

    The Muse is mute when public men
    Applaud a modern throne: ....... excellently penned here a model for the laureate(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • John BeatonJohn Beaton (9/24/2018 2:59:00 AM)

    A poem that had extra resonance in its time. Today we read it as saying the powerful and the strong can keep their lovers waiting, but, for superficial matters of state, the poet laureate shouldn't abandon the Muse that fires more genuine poetry. In other words, don't write poetry to be a flunky. When Yeats wrote it, the third stanza also endorsed the action of Edward VIII, who abdicated the British throne to marry his divorced American love, Wallace Stephens..(Report)Reply

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  • Ramesh T ARamesh T A (9/24/2018 2:20:00 AM)

    Powerful voice of W B Yeats is wonderful to hear through this nice poem indeed!(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Mahtab BangaleeMahtab Bangalee (9/24/2018 1:43:00 AM)

    Oh ho-
    The Muse is mute when public men
    Applaud a modern throne:

    /// in modernity we forget the true rhythm of Muse(Report)Reply

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Read poems about / on: women, woman, running



Poem Submitted: Tuesday, May 15, 2001

Poem Edited: Tuesday, May 15, 2001


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