Verse > W.B. Yeats > Responsibilities and Other Poems
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W.B. Yeats (1865–1939).  Responsibilities and Other Poems.  1916.

13. Beggar to Beggar cried


‘TIME to put off the world and go somewhere 
And find my health again in the sea air,’ 
Beggar to beggar cried, being frenzy-struck, 
‘And make my soul before my pate is bare.’ 
  
‘And get a comfortable wife and house         5
To rid me of the devil in my shoes,’ 
Beggar to beggar cried, being frenzy-struck, 
‘And the worse devil that is between my thighs.’ 
  
‘And though I’d marry with a comely lass, 
She need not be too comely—let it pass,’  10
Beggar to beggar cried, being frenzy-struck, 
‘But there’s a devil in a looking-glass.’ 
  
‘Nor should she be too rich, because the rich 
Are driven by wealth as beggars by the itch,’ 
Beggar to beggar cried, being frenzy-struck,  15
‘And cannot have a humorous happy speech.’ 
  
‘And there I’ll grow respected at my ease, 
And hear amid the garden’s nightly peace,’ 
Beggar to beggar cried, being frenzy-struck, 
‘The wind-blown clamour of the barnacle-geese.’  20


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