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Lay for the Day
13th June


1865: the birthday of W.B. Yeats.
After a lifetime of effort, he had added the name of Maud Gonne, the object of his unrequited love, to history’s shortlist of immortal beauties.


The Beauties

Many beauties must have read of another’s
And thought her themselves, though assured
On the poet’s most solemn word
She was gone, before they formed in their mothers.
In flatteries burnished near the shine of truth
New pupils have studied their features,
Old lines become a fresh love’s teachers,
For dust has no use for the dues of youth.
A lively praise deserves a livelier eye
Than the one has now who inspired it,
And he’d turn, though he once required it,
From her bone mouth, to yours that lips his lie.
Yet may beauty and her poet pass unblamed
When each shall rise, new bodied and new named.

by John Gibbens
from Legacy


The Lay Reader: an archive of the poetic calendar