Against Unworthy Praise

By William Butler Yeats

O Heart, be at peace, because
    Nor knave nor dolt can break
    What’s not for their applause,
    Being for a woman’s sake.
    Enough if the work has seemed,
    So did she your strength renew,
    A dream that a lion had dreamed
    Till the wilderness cried aloud,
    A secret between you two,
    Between the proud and the proud.

    What, still you would have their praise!
    But here’s a haughtier text,
    The labyrinth of her days
    That her own strangeness perplexed;
    And how what her dreaming gave
    Earned slander, ingratitude,
    From self-same dolt and knave;
    Aye, and worse wrong than these.
    Yet she, singing upon her road,
    Half lion, half child, is at peace.

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