Collected Poems, by William Butler Yeats

He Remembers Forgotten Beauty

WHEN my arms wrap you round I press

My heart upon the loveliness

That has long faded from the world;

The jewelled crowns that kings have hurled

In shadowy pools, when armies fled;

The love-tales wrought with silken thread

By dreaming ladies upon cloth

That has made fat the murderous moth;

The roses that of old time were

Woven by ladies in their hair,

The dew-cold lilies ladies bore

Through many a sacred corridor

Where such grey clouds of incense rose

That only God’s eyes did not close:

For that pale breast and lingering hand

Come from a more dream-heavy land,

A more dream-heavy hour than this;

And when you sigh from kiss to kiss

I hear white Beauty sighing, too,

For hours when all must fade like dew.

But flame on flame, and deep on deep,

Throne over throne where in half sleep,

Their swords upon their iron knees,

Brood her high lonely mysteries.

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Last updated Tuesday, March 4, 2014 at 14:50