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

  • (9/24/2018 11:56:00 PM)


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

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  • Khairul 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

  • Khairul 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

  • Baquee Billah Ahmed (9/24/2018 1:40:00 PM)


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

  • Kumarmani 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

  • Savita 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

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

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

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

    Yes, I agree with @Savita Tyagi.

  • (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

  • John 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

  • Ramesh 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

  • Mahtab 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

  • Petals Azureblue (9/24/2018 1:11:00 AM)


    Keep their lovers waiting.... (Report) Reply

  • Julius Saidu (8/31/2018 10:19:00 PM)


    Niccccccccccce by Yeats.......................... (Report) Reply

  • Glen Kappy (8/31/2018 6:48:00 PM)


    i haven't read much yeats, but i like how he writes here for the supremacy of love. reading it, dylan thomas' poem, in my craft or sullen art, comes to mind. -gk (Report) Reply

  • (8/31/2018 12:48:00 PM)


    Marvelous poem with amazing fluency. In the line of duty love takes a back seat and noble kings keep their lovers waiting but so do the drunken and incompetent fool kings indulge in Ayyashi (licentiousness) . (Report) Reply

    (9/24/2018 9:09:00 PM)

    Well said, @Savita Tyagi!

  • Adrian Flett (8/31/2018 5:26:00 AM)


    'Those cheers that can be bought and sold' Keep our lovers waiting as we remain silent or mute when public men 'Applaud a modern throne' (Report) Reply

  • Kumarmani Mahakul (8/31/2018 3:14:00 AM)


    Beautifully penned by William Butler Years. Nice work. (Report) Reply

  • Petals Azureblue (8/31/2018 2:25:00 AM)


    Its an amazing poem. The rhetoric keeps reigning my thinking back to the reality of loving relationships for such men as kings are. Enjoyable read. (Report) Reply

  • Bernard F. Asuncion (8/31/2018 1:21:00 AM)


    Such a marvelous poem by William Butler Yeats..................................... (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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