The Choice

William Butler Yeats
1865 - 1939


The intellect of man is forced to choose
perfection of the life, or of the work,
And if it take the second must refuse
A heavenly mansion, raging in the dark.
When all that story's finished, what's the news?
In luck or out the toil has left its mark:
That old perplexity an empty purse,
Or the day's vanity, the night's remorse.
W B Yeats drawing by David Levine

from The Winding Stair and Other Poems, 1933


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posted 22 August 2018