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When You Are Old by William Butler Yeats


"When You Are Old" is a poem written by William Butler Yeats. This poem is about William Butler Yeats' love for another person. He tells her that when she is old and falling asleep by the fire to think of him and know that he loved her even though he is most likely dead and gone already.

This poem is written as one stanza with the rhyme scheme ABBACDDCEFFE for a total of twelve lines. It is also written in iambic-pentameter.


When You Are Old

When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;
How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim Soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;
And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

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