Nature's first green is gold, Her hardest hue to hold. Her early leaf's a flower; But only so an hour. Then leaf subsides to leaf. So Eden sank to grief, So dawn goes down to day. Nothing gold can stay.
Never give all the heart, for love
Will hardly seem worth thinking of
To passionate women if it seem
Certain, and they never dream
That it fades out from kiss to kiss;
For everything that's lovely is
But a brief, dreamy, kind delight.
O never give the heart outright,
For they, for all smooth lips can say,
Have given their hearts up to the play.
And who could play it well enough
If deaf and dumb and blind with love?
He that made this knows all the cost,
For he gave all his heart and lost.
Sundays, like a stanza break Or shower's end of all applause, For some old unexplaining sake The optimistic tread these shores, As lonely as the dead awake Or God among the dinosaurs.
The lonely breakfast table starts the day, an adjustment is made to understand why the other chair is empty. The morning beautiful and still to be, should woo me. Yet the appetite is not shared, lost somewhere in memory. How lucky the horizon is blue and needs no handwriting on its emptiness. I am written on thoroughly, a lost novel found again. I remember the predictable plot too late, realize the silly, sad urgency of moss.
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.
Time drops in decay,
Like a candle burnt out,
And the mountains and the woods
Have their day, have their day;
What one in the rout
Of the fire-born moods
Has fallen away?
|About this poem:|
Literary scholar Richard Ellman writes in The Identity of Yeats that "Moods...are conspicuously, but not exclusively, emotional or temperamental; they differ from emotions in having form and, often, intellectual structure. Less fleeting than a mere wish, and less crystallized than a belief, a mood is suspended between fluidity and solidity. It can be tested only by the likelihood of its being experienced at all, and being so, by many people."
The quarrel of the sparrows in the eaves, The full round moon and the star-laden sky, And the loud song of the ever-singing leaves, Had hid away earth's old and weary cry. And then you came with those red mournful lips, And with you came the whole of the world's tears, And all the sorrows of her labouring ships, And all the burden of her myriad years. And now the sparrows warring in the eaves, The curd-pale moon, the white stars in the sky, And the loud chaunting of the unquiet leaves Are shaken with earth's old and weary cry.
Ah! sunflower, weary of time, Who countest the steps of the sun, Seeking after that sweet golden clime Where the traveller’s journey is done; Where the youth pined away with desire, And the pale virgin shrouded in snow, Arise from their graves and aspire; Where my sunflower wishes to go.
Never seek to tell thy love, Love that never told can be; For the gentle wind doth move Silently, invisibly. I told my love, I told my love, I told her all my heart, Trembling, cold, in ghastly fears. Ah! she did depart! Soon after she was gone from me, A traveller came by, Silently, invisibly: He took her with a sigh.
Tyger! Tyger! burning bright In the forests of the night, What immortal hand or eye Could frame thy fearful symmetry? In what distant deeps or skies Burnt the fire of thine eyes? On what wings dare he aspire? What the hand, dare sieze the fire? And what shoulder, & what art, Could twist the sinews of thy heart? And when thy heart began to beat, What dread hand? & what dread feet? What the hammer? what the chain? In what furnace was thy brain? What the anvil? what dread grasp Dare its deadly terrors clasp? When the stars threw down their spears, And water'd heaven with their tears, Did he smile his work to see? Did he who made the Lamb make thee? Tyger! Tyger! burning bright In the forests of the night, What immortal hand or eye Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?
He who binds to himself a joy Does the winged life destroy He who kisses the joy as it flies Lives in eternity's sunrise
O Rose, thou art sick: The invisible worm, That flies in the night In the howling storm, Has found out thy bed Of crimson joy; And his dark secret love Does thy life destroy.