Home  »  The Wild Swans at Coole  »  8. The Living Beauty

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

8. The Living Beauty

I’LL say and maybe dream I have drawn content—

Seeing that time has frozen up the blood,

The wick of youth being burned and the oil spent—

From beauty that is cast out of a mould

In bronze, or that in dazzling marble appears,

Appears, and when we have gone is gone again,

Being more indifferent to our solitude

Than ’twere an apparition. O heart, we are old,

The living beauty is for younger men,

We cannot pay its tribute of wild tears.