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To a Young Beauty by William Butler Yeats


"To a Young Beauty" is a poem written by William Butler Yeats. This poem is addressed to a young woman who sees many different men instead of sticking to just one. He tells her, "Be passionate, not bountiful", as if she should consider settling down with one man and being passionate with him instead of seeking as many mean as possible.

"To a Young Beauty" is written as a single stanza with 18 lines. It is written in the rhyme scheme ABCDDCEEFGGHIIJKKJ. As you can see, only two lines do not rhyme. they are the lines, "As common beauties may," and "But those of Beauvarlet."


To a Young Beauty

Dear fellow-artist, why so free
With every sort of company,
With every Jack and Jill?
Choose your companions from the best;
Who draws a bucket with the rest
Soon topples down the hill.
You may, that mirror for a school,
Be passionate, not bountiful
As common beauties may,
Who were not born to keep in trim
With old Ezekiel's cherubim
But those of Beauvarlet.
I know what wages beauty gives,
How hard a life her setvant lives,
Yet praise the winters gone:
There is not a fool can call me friend,
And I may dine at journey's end
With Landor and with Donne.

Next: To a Young Girl
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