William Butler Yeats

To A Friend Whose Work Has Come To Nothing

Now all the truth is out, Be secret and take defeat From any brazen throat, For how can you compete, Being honour bred, with one Who, were it proved he lies, Were neither shamed in his own Nor in his neighbours' eyes? Bred to a harder thing Than Triumph, turn away And like a laughing string Whereon mad fingers play Amid a place of stone, Be secret and exult, Because of all things known That is most difficult.