Verse > W.B. Yeats > Responsibilities and Other Poems
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W.B. Yeats (1865–1939).  Responsibilities and Other Poems.  1916.

25. Friends


NOW must I these three praise— 
Three women that have wrought 
What joy is in my days; 
One that no passing thought, 
Nor those unpassing cares,         5
No, not in these fifteen 
Many times troubled years, 
Could ever come between 
Heart and delighted heart; 
And one because her hand  10
Had strength that could unbind 
What none can understand, 
What none can have and thrive, 
Youth’s dreamy load, till she 
So changed me that I live  15
Labouring in ecstasy. 
And what of her that took 
All till my youth was gone 
With scarce a pitying look? 
How could I praise that one?  20
When day begins to break 
I count my good and bad, 
Being wakeful for her sake, 
Remembering what she had, 
What eagle look still shows,  25
While up from my heart’s root 
So great a sweetness flows 
I shake from head to foot. 


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