William Butler Yeats

The Lover Asks Forgiveness

Because Of His Many Moods

If this importunate heart trouble your peace With words lighter than air, Or hopes that in mere hoping flicker and cease; Crumple the rose in your hair; And cover your lips with odorous twilight and say, 'O Hearts of wind-blown flame! O Winds, older than changing of night and day, That murmuring and longing came From marble cities loud with tabors of old In dove-grey faery lands; From battle-banners, fold upon purple fold, Queens wrought with glimmering hands; That saw young Niamh hover with love-lorn face Above the wandering tide; And lingered in the hidden desolate place Where the last Phoenix died, And wrapped the flames above his holy head; And still murmur and long: O piteous Hearts, changing till change be dead In a tumultuous song': And cover the pale blossoms of your breast With your dim heavy hair, And trouble with a sigh for all things longing for rest The odorous twilight there.

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