Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
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Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
 
On Woman
By William Butler Yeats
 
MAY God be praised for woman,
That gives up all her mind!
A man may find in no man
A friendship of her kind,
That covers all he has brought        5
As with her flesh and bone,
Nor quarrels with a thought
Because it is not her own.
 
Though pedantry denies,
It’s plain the Bible means        10
That Solomon grew wise
While talking with his queens;
Yet never could, although
They say he counted grass,
Count all the praises due        15
When Sheba was his lass,
When she the iron wrought, or
When from the smithy fire
It shuddered in the water:
Harshness of their desire        20
That made them stretch and yawn,
Pleasure that comes with sleep,
Shudder that made them one.
 
What else he give or keep
God grant me—(no, not here,        25
For I am not so bold
To hope a thing so dear
Now I am growing old;
But when, if the tale’s true,
The pestle of the moon,        30
That pounds up all anew,
Brings me to birth again)—
To find what once I had
And know what once I have known,
Until I am driven mad,        35
Sleep driven from my bed,
By tenderness and care,
Pity an aching head,
Gnashing of teeth, despair—
And all because of some one        40
Perverse creature of chance—
And live like Solomon
That Sheba led a dance.
 
 
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