When You Are Old Poem by William Butler Yeats

When You Are Old

Rating: 4.7


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.

When You Are Old
COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Fabrizio Frosini 05 August 2015

'' When you are old and grey and full of sleep '' what a striking image of the old age..

122 11 Reply
Juan Olivarez 03 May 2011

The greatest of the modern English language poets, Yeats had the ability (and still does) to move anybody to tears with his words. A wonderful poet a very talented and extraordinary man.

36 25 Reply
Jerry Wechsler 12 January 2012

Ronsard is concerned with himself; Yeats barely refers to himself at all (one man) and delivers a prayer of devotion to his beloved. No other poet I've read compares. I have to look to Shakespeare, Jane Austen and Brahms before I can find art at this level.

30 30 Reply
Carmine Giambrone 24 April 2007

This poem still moves me immensely, thirty-four years after I first read it and tearfully parted with my very first true love. It touches on so many themes...love, love lost and the inevitable passage of time. It confirms that it is the memories of moments past that will always endure. I still love the sound of it.

44 15 Reply
Lu Wenchao 11 November 2008

This poem is very famous in China.We first know Yeats by this wonderful poem, which contain a story of Yeats himself that move us so deeply.From this poem, we konw what is the true love, we know how deeply love can be.This has been transferred into the famous poem of MUDAN, also been transferred into a popular song sung by SHUIMUNIANHUA, so we can see how arractive it was to us in China.

35 22 Reply
Beryl Evans Defrank 08 January 2022

Memories of my husband. So beautifully remembered.

0 0 Reply
Rose Marie Juan-austin 25 September 2021

A very touching poem so beautifully written. Timeless.

1 0 Reply
Geeta Radhakrishna Menon 25 September 2021

But one man loved the pilgrim Soul in you, And loved the sorrows of your changing face; marvellous lines - so insightful

0 0 Reply
Geeta Radhakrishna Menon 25 September 2021

What a wonderful poem -so touching! Full stars

0 0 Reply
Rajnish Manga 25 September 2021

Exquisitely beautiful poem which I have had the privilege to translate into Hindi.

0 0 Reply
William Butler Yeats

William Butler Yeats

County Dublin / Ireland
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