"When You Are Old"
by William Butler Yeats
When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;
How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;
With every year that passes, this poem seems to mean more to me. What Yeats says about loss and love and memory and the passage of years resonates powerfully, as does the recollection of those special "moments of glad grace." Also, the fact that he wrote this while still in his twenties stuns me; how did he know so much, even then?