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Accueil du site > Français > Annuaire > PITRA Pavel > Autres intérêts > Poetry > William Butler Yeats

William Butler Yeats

(1864-1939)

William Butler Yeats
(1864-1939)

Never Give All the Heart

Never give all the heart, for love
Will hardly seem worth thinking of
To passionate women if it seem
Certain, and they never dream
That it fades out from kiss to kiss ;
For everything that’s lovely is
But a brief, dreamy, kind delight.
O never give the heart outright,
For they, for all smooth lips can say,
Have given their hearts up to the play.
And who could play it well enough
If deaf and dumb and blind with love ?
He that made this knows all the cost,
For he gave all his heart and lost.



Down by the Salley Gardens

Down by the salley gardens my love and I did meet ;
She passed the salley gardens with little snow-white feet.
She bid me take love easy, as the leaves grow on the tree ;
But I, being young and foolish, with her would not agree.

In a field by the river my love and I did stand,
And on my leaning shoulder she laid her snow-white hand.
She bid me take life easy as the grass grows on the weirs ;
But I was young and foolish, and now am full of tears.



The White Birds

I would that we were, my beloved,
white birds on the foam of the sea !
We tire of the flame of the meteor,
before it can fade and flee ;
And the flame of the blue star of twilight,
hang low on the rim of the sky,
Has awaked in our hearts, my beloved,
a sadness that may not die.

A weariness comes from those dreamers,
dew-dabbled, the lily and rose ;
Ah, dream not of them, my beloved,
the flame of the meteor that goes,
Or the flame of the blue star that lingers
hung low in the fall of the dew :
For I would we were changed to white birds
on the wandering foam : I and you !

I am haunted by numberless islands,
and many a Danaan shore,
Where Time would surely forget us
and Sorrow come near us no more ;
Soon far from the rose and the lily,
and fret of the flames would we be,
Were we only white birds, my beloved,
buoyed out on the foam of the sea.