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    Broken Dreams

    by William Butler Yeats
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    • Average Rating: 4.5 out of 5 based on 6 ratings
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    THERE is grey in your hair.
    Young men no longer suddenly catch their breath
    When you are passing;
    But maybe some old gaffer mutters a blessing
    Because it was your prayer
    Recovered him upon the bed of death.
    For your sole sake - that all heart's ache have known,
    And given to others all heart's ache,
    From meagre girlhood's putting on
    Burdensome beauty - for your sole sake
    Heaven has put away the stroke of her doom,
    So great her portion in that peace you make
    By merely walking in a room.
    Your beauty can but leave among us
    Vague memories, nothing but memories.
    A young man when the old men are done talking
    Will say to an old man, "Tell me of that lady
    The poet stubborn with his passion sang us
    When age might well have chilled his blood.'
    Vague memories, nothing but memories,
    But in the grave all, all, shall be renewed.
    The certainty that I shall see that lady
    Leaning or standing or walking
    In the first loveliness of womanhood,
    And with the fervour of my youthful eyes,
    Has set me muttering like a fool.
    You are more beautiful than any one,
    And yet your body had a flaw:
    Your small hands were not beautiful,
    And I am afraid that you will run
    And paddle to the wrist
    In that mysterious, always brimming lake
    Where those What have obeyed the holy law
    paddle and are perfect. Leave unchanged
    The hands that I have kissed,
    For old sake's sake.
    The last stroke of midnight dies.
    All day in the one chair
    From dream to dream and rhyme to rhyme I have
    In rambling talk with an image of air:
    Vague memories, nothing but memories.
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