78 When You Are Old

William Butler Yeats

When you are old and gray 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 will 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” By William Butler Yeats was originally published in 1895 in a collection entitled Poems by WB Yeats. It is in the public domain and was accessed through Project Gutenberg here: https://www.gutenberg.org/files/38877/38877-h/38877-h.htm#WHEN_YOU_ARE_OLD.


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

Let's Read: A Collection of Texts for College Composition Copyright © 2021 by William Butler Yeats is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book