Archive for the ‘poetry’ Category

sailing to Byzantium

THAT is no country for old men. The young
In one another’s arms, birds in the trees
– Those dying generations – at their song,
The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas,
Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long
Whatever is begotten, born, and dies.
Caught in that sensual music all neglect
Monuments of unageing intellect.

An aged man is but a paltry thing,
A tattered coat upon a stick, unless
Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing
For every tatter in its mortal dress,
Nor is there singing school but studying
Monuments of its own magnificence;
And therefore I have sailed the seas and come
To the holy city of Byzantium.

O sages standing in God’s holy fire
As in the gold mosaic of a wall,
Come from the holy fire, perne in a gyre,
And be the singing-masters of my soul.
Consume my heart away; sick with desire
And fastened to a dying animal
It knows not what it is; and gather me
Into the artifice of eternity.

Once out of nature I shall never take
My bodily form from any natural thing,
But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make
Of hammered gold and gold enamelling
To keep a drowsy Emperor awake;
Or set upon a golden bough to sing
To lords and ladies of Byzantium
Of what is past, or passing, or to come.


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من حكم المتنبي

ذو العقل يشقى في النعيم بعقلِهِ               وأخو الجهالة في الشقاوة ينعمُ

والناس قد نبذو الحفاظ , فمطلق              ينسى الذي يولي , وعاف يندم

لا يخدعنّك من عدوّ دمعـــــــــةً               وارحم شبابــــك من عدوٍ تُرحَمِ

 ومن البليّة عذل من لا يرعوي                عن جهلِهِ , وخطاب من لايفهـمِ

ومن العداوة ما ينالك نفعُــــــهُ                     ومن الصداقة ما يضر ويؤلمُ

والذل يظهر في الذليل مودةً                      وأود منه لمن يود الأرقم

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When You Are Old

William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

                    When You Are Old

    WHEN you are old and gray 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;

    And bending down beside the glowing bars,
    Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
    And paced upon the mountains overhead
    And hid his face among a crowd of stars.


 The above poem was published in The Rose in 1893. It can be found in:

  • Yeats, William Butler. The Collected Poems of W.B. Yeats. Definitive Edition, with the Author’s Final Revisions. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1956.
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