William Butler Yeats

On Woman

May God be praised for woman That gives up all her mind, A man may find in no man A friendship of her kind That covers all he has brought As with her flesh and bone, Nor quarrels with a thought Because it is not her own. Though pedantry denies, It's plain the Bible means That Solomon grew wise While talking with his queens. Yet never could, although They say he counted grass, Count all the praises due When Sheba was his lass, When she the iron wrought, or When from the smithy fire It shuddered in the water: Harshness of their desire That made them stretch and yawn, pleasure that comes with sleep, Shudder that made them one. What else He give or keep God grant me - no, not here, For I am not so bold To hope a thing so dear Now I am growing old, But when, if the tale's true, The Pestle of the moon That pounds up all anew Brings me to birth again -- To find what once I had And know what once I have known, Until I am driven mad, Sleep driven from my bed. By tenderness and care. pity, an aching head, Gnashing of teeth, despair; And all because of some one perverse creature of chance, And live like Solomon That Sheba led a dance.

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