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William Butler Yeats: When Things Don't Work Out.


Jack Butler Yeats

Humanity's Alibi


To a Friend Whose Work Has Come to Nothing By William Butler Yeats*

Now all the truth is out, Be secret and take defeat From any brazen throat, For how can you compete, Being honor bred, with one Who were it proved he lies Were neither shamed in his own Nor in his neighbors' eyes; Bred to a harder thing Than Triumph, turn away And like a laughing string Whereon mad fingers play Amid a place of stone, Be secret and exult, Because of all things known

That is most difficult.

*Source: The Collected Poems of W. B. Yeats (1989)


October 15, 2020

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