Verse > W.B. Yeats > The Wild Swans at Coole

W.B. Yeats (1865–1939).  The Wild Swans at Coole.  1919.

21. Her Praise

SHE is foremost of those that I would hear praised. 
I have gone about the house, gone up and down 
As a man does who has published a new book 
Or a young girl dressed out in her new gown, 
And though I have turned the talk by hook or crook         5
Until her praise should be the uppermost theme, 
A woman spoke of some new tale she had read, 
A man confusedly in a half dream 
As though some other name ran in his head. 
She is foremost of those that I would hear praised.  10
I will talk no more of books or the long war 
But walk by the dry thorn until I have found 
Some beggar sheltering from the wind, and there 
Manage the talk until her name come round. 
If there be rags enough he will know her name  15
And be well pleased remembering it, for in the old days, 
Though she had young men’s praise and old men’s blame, 
Among the poor both old and young gave her praise. 



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