Friends

By William Butler Yeats

    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,
    No, not in these fifteen
    Many times troubled years,
    Could ever come between
    Heart and delighted heart;
    And one because her hand
    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
    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?
    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,
    While up from my heart’s root
    So great a sweetness flows
    I shake from head to foot.

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