William Butler Yeats

 Aedh wishes for the Cloths of Heaven

HAD I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,

Enwrought with golden and silver light,

The blue and the dim and the dark cloths

Of night and light and the half light,

I would spread the cloths under your feet:

But I, being poor, have only my dreams;

I have spread my dreams under your feet;

Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

W. B. Yeats

Never give all the heart

Never give all the heart, for love

Will hardly seem worth thinking of

To passionate women if it seem

Certain, and they never dream

That it fades out from kiss to kiss;

For everything that’s lovely is

But a brief, dreamy, kind delight.

O never give the heart outright,

For they, for all smooth lips can say,

Have given their hearts up to the play.

And who could play it well enough

If deaf and dumb and blind with love?

He that made this knows all the cost,

For he gave all his heart and lost.

Rudyard Kipling

 IF

If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowances for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired of waiting,

Or being lied about don’t deal in lies.

Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,

And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise.

If you can dream and not make dreams your master,

If you can think and not make thoughts your aim,

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two imposters just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools.

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken

And stoop and build them up with worn-out tools.

If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss;

And lose, and start again at your beginnings

And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to you “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or talk with Kings, nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run, –

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,

And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!

(October 1910)

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