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The Arrow by William Butler Yeats


"The Arrow" is a poem written by William Butler Yeats. In this poem, Yeats is speaking about an old love. He's saying that he was struck by cupid's arrow and still finds her beautiful, but yet he knows they can no longer be. He says, "There's no man may look upon her, no man, / As when newly grown to be a woman,". This could have a few different meanings. One could be that the woman is now married and no longer "newly grown" (no longer "innocent"). It could also mean that she is simply no longer beautiful due to her age.

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"The Arrow" consists of only one stanza and has eight lines. The poem is written with heroic couplets (rhyming couplets written as iambic-pentameter).


The Arrow

I thought of your beauty, and this arrow,
Made out of a wild thought, is in my marrow.
There's no man may look upon her, no man,
As when newly grown to be a woman,
Tall and noble but with face and bosom
Delicate in colour as apple blossom.
This beauty's kinder, yet for a reason
I could weep that the old is out of season

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