Home  »  Responsibilities and Other Poems  »  52. All Things can tempt me

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

52. All Things can tempt me

ALL things can tempt me from this craft of verse:

One time it was a woman’s face, or worse—

The seeming needs of my fool-driven land;

Now nothing but comes readier to the hand

Than this accustomed toil. When I was young,

I had not given a penny for a song

Did not the poet sing it with such airs

That one believed he had a sword upstairs;

Yet would be now, could I but have my wish,

Colder and dumber and deafer than a fish.