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

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

23. A Memory of Youth

THE MOMENTS passed as at a play, 
I had the wisdom love brings forth; 
I had my share of mother wit 
And yet for all that I could say, 
And though I had her praise for it,         5
A cloud blown from the cut-throat north 
Suddenly hid love’s moon away. 
Believing every word I said 
I praised her body and her mind 
Till pride had made her eyes grow bright,  10
And pleasure made her cheeks grow red, 
And vanity her footfall light, 
Yet we, for all that praise, could find 
Nothing but darkness overhead. 
We sat as silent as a stone,  15
We knew, though she’d not said a word, 
That even the best of love must die, 
And had been savagely undone 
Were it not that love upon the cry 
Of a most ridiculous little bird  20
Tore from the clouds his marvellous moon. 



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