poet William Butler Yeats

William Butler Yeats

#30 on top 500 poets

When You Are Old

WHEN you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;
How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim Soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;
And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

Poem Submitted: Thursday, May 17, 2001
Poem Edited: Thursday, May 17, 2001

Form: Sonnet


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When You Are Old # 65 poem on top 500 Poems
4,7 out of 5
144 total ratings
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Comments about When You Are Old by William Butler Yeats

  • Bjpafa MeragenteBjpafa Meragente (10/28/2020 11:17:00 AM)

    Old and grey and full of sleep, many happens to feel it, or an anticipation of it, and those loves lost that new can not renewed or unfortunately be...as I can sense or imagination builds up for me, or my demise.

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  • Suryendu ChaudhurySuryendu Chaudhury (10/2/2020 8:06:00 AM)

    Love transcends ages and self love is a necessary quality to love fellow beings.

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  • Sarah ShahzadSarah Shahzad (1/6/2020 3:08:00 AM)

    Such beautiful work..! i really enjoy it, thank for sharing.. :)

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  • Michael WalkerMichael Walker (12/5/2019 9:09:00 PM)

    Quite a touching poem of love and remembrance.

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  • Poep Poeperd (11/14/2019 5:11:00 AM)

    this poem is my favorite poem, truly touching!

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  • Chinedu DikeChinedu Dike (11/8/2019 8:56:00 AM)

    A poignant work of art written with clarity of thought and mind.

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  • Andrew BlakemoreAndrew Blakemore (10/26/2019 9:36:00 AM)

    Yeats was such a great poet

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  • Prativa DeyPrativa Dey (9/23/2019 6:22:00 AM)

    Thanks all

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  • Suratha Kumar RoutSuratha Kumar Rout (9/8/2019 10:25:00 AM)

    Nice.
    A poem with great value.
    Thanks for sharing.
    10+++++++

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  • Manpreet SinghManpreet Singh (4/14/2019 6:47:00 AM)

    Love doesn't fade by time.
    Beautiful poem

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  • Mary Hynes (3/14/2019 9:05:00 AM)

    Surely you jest.A robot voice reading Yates? Hat is obnoxious.

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    4 person liked.
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  • Darlan M Cunha (12/5/2018 4:58:00 PM)

    Um poema do pensamento, da percepção refinada [raros], como são, por exemplo, os poemas de Octavio Paz - Nobel 1990.

    Um abraço.

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  • Thaís FernandesThaís Fernandes (12/2/2018 11:22:00 AM)

    I love this poem. How brilliantly written!

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  • Nichet India (10/16/2018 11:02:00 PM)

    i'm wrting my own poem on how life changes and everything that lives will die someday

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    5 person liked.
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  • Alice (10/5/2018 3:05:00 AM)

    Lovely poems that left me a bit tearful

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  • laurie bookluck (9/18/2018 5:32:00 AM)

    brings back my thafers cultivated wasted cultured te nore robusto cultured singing voice

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  • Musa Rajabu (9/7/2018 4:15:00 PM)

    The poem has made my feeling to fall like mangoes from mango tree,real touchng

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  • Paula (7/3/2018 6:57:00 PM)

    Beautiful and stirred me. Remind me of my son’s father,

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  • Lungelo S MbuyaziLungelo S Mbuyazi (6/20/2018 11:02:00 AM)

    Beautiful poem... I like as well

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  • Chris Williams (6/2/2018 7:24:00 PM)

    As I turn 66 today, this poem reflects my soul's disposition towards old loves, best friends and the sweetness of youthful love......

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Read poems about / on: beauty, dream, fire, sleep, love, change, sorrow, star