When You are Old

Tomorrow is Burns night, but for some reason this evening I turn to Yeats.

I had not realised just how many of his poems permeated my childhood.  Triggering lost memories of people now gone.

Happy Burns Night, whatever you do.

We are one and the same are we not?  The Scottish and the Irish?

Apparently, a study in Iceland showed that contrary to popular belief, every day Icelanders are genetically more Irish or English, and not Viking.  I’m sure this was a disappointment for them, but for me it helped to understand their warm embrace, having a little of ‘the vast and vague extravagance that lies at the bottom of the Celtic heart’…

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 shadow 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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