Verse > W.B. Yeats > Responsibilities and Other Poems

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

40. Against Unworthy Praise

O HEART, be at peace, because 
Nor knave nor dolt can break 
What’s not for their applause, 
Being for a woman’s sake. 
Enough if the work has seemed,         5
So did she your strength renew, 
A dream that a lion had dreamed 
Till the wilderness cried aloud, 
A secret between you two, 
Between the proud and the proud.  10
What, still you would have their praise! 
But here’s a haughtier text, 
The labyrinth of her days 
That her own strangeness perplexed; 
And how what her dreaming gave  15
Earned slander, ingratitude, 
From self-same dolt and knave; 
Aye, and worse wrong than these. 
Yet she, singing upon her road, 
Half lion, half child, is at peace.  20



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