Home  »  The Wild Swans at Coole  »  12. The Scholars

W.B. Yeats (1865–1939). The Wild Swans at Coole. 1919.

12. The Scholars

BALD heads forgetful of their sins,

Old, learned, respectable bald heads

Edit and annotate the lines

That young men, tossing on their beds,

Rhymed out in love’s despair

To flatter beauty’s ignorant ear.

They’ll cough in the ink to the world’s end;

Wear out the carpet with their shoes

Earning respect; have no strange friend;

If they have sinned nobody knows.

Lord, what would they say

Should their Catullus walk that way?