The Irish in America


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DAY 24: W.B. Yeats

Think I am running out of favorite things? Not a chance! I have saved the best for the last seven days.

WB-Yeats-001

William Butler Yeats has been my favorite Irish poet for a long time. I guess I am not very original in my love for Yeats, but I don’t care. It just does not get any better.

In college I had to memorize and recite a poem in a literature course. This assignment mortified me, but I chose this poem, and everything was fine.

For Anne Gregory

by William Butler Yeats

“Never shall a young man,
Thrown into despair
By those great honey-coloured
Ramparts at your ear,
Love you for yourself alone
And not your yellow hair.”

“But I can get a hair-dye
And set such colour there,
Brown, or black, or carrot,
That young men in despair
May love me for myself alone
And not my yellow hair.”

“I heard an old religious man
But yesternight declare
That he had found a text to prove
That only God, my dear,
Could love you for yourself alone
And not your yellow hair.”

Yeats' Grave at Drumcliff churchyard, Sligo

Yeats’ Grave at Drumcliff churchyard, Sligo