A Last Confession

A Last Confession

Original Text

Yeats, William Butler. W. B. Yeats: Selected Poetry: 172. Ed. by A. Norman Jeffares. London: Macmillan, 1968.

1What lively lad most pleasured me
2Of all that with me lay?
3I answer that I gave my soul
4And loved in misery,
5But had great pleasure with a lad
6That I loved bodily.
7Flinging from his arms I laughed
8To think his passion such
9He fancied that I gave a soul
10Did but our bodies touch,
11And laughed upon his breast to think
12Beast gave beast as much.
13I gave what other women gave
14That stepped out of their clothes.
15But when this soul, its body off,
16Naked to naked goes,
17He it has found shall find therein
18What none other knows,
19And give his own and take his own
20And rule in his own right;
21And though it loved in misery
22Close and cling so tight,
23There's not a bird of day that dare
24Extinguish that delight.
Publication Start Year
Publication Notes

A Woman Young and Old, 1933.

RPO poem Editors
Ian Lancashire, assisted by Ana Berdinskikh
RPO Edition