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Ephemera Analysis

Author: Poetry of William Butler Yeats Type: Poetry Views: 778

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"YOUR eyes that once were never weary of mine

Are bowed in sotrow under pendulous lids,

Because our love is waning."

And then She:

"Although our love is waning, let us stand

By the lone border of the lake once more,

Together in that hour of gentleness

When the poor tired child, passion, falls asleep.

How far away the stars seem, and how far

Is our first kiss, and ah, how old my heart!"

Pensive they paced along the faded leaves,

While slowly he whose hand held hers replied:

"Passion has often worn our wandering hearts."

The woods were round them, and the yellow leaves

Fell like faint meteors in the gloom, and once

A rabbit old and lame limped down the path;

Autumn was over him:and now they stood

On the lone border of the lake once more:

Turning, he saw that she had thrust dead leaves

Gathered in silence, dewy as her eyes,

In bosom and hair.

"Ah, do not mourn," he said,

"That we are tired, for other loves await us;

Hate on and love through unrepining hours.

Before us lies eternity; our souls

Are love, and a continual farewell."


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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

.: :.

Perhaps someone can explain why he says: \"Hate on and love through unrepining hours.\"
I love Yeat\'s poetry since I was first introduced to it some 40 years ago and this is one of my favourite poems - but I don\'t think this line or at least the phrase \"Hate on\" fits the mood. At most it casts an air of indifference, if not always sorrow or nostalgia, but \"hate on\" just seems odd.

| Posted on 2012-02-14 | by a guest

.: :.

The fact that he speaks first, and that he makes a statement that first triggers response places him in a position of dominance in the reader's mind. His blunt, unromantic explanation 'Because our love is waning' prefigures the dull, dreary tone that will continue in the rest of the poem.
It's interesting the way he is described as 'he whose hand held hers', with a sort of reversed, unorthodox syntax that draws attention to the line, and we wonder why it's not 'As he held her hand' - the original line doesn't emphasise their holding hands so much, but uses that action of hand-holding for the primary purpose of shifting the focus back onto him. This creates a sense of distance between them and as 'held' is in the past tense, suggests that what used to be affection has expired and passed on.
Later it says 'Turning, he saw that...', meaning he was looking out at the lake, and not at her. Again, there's a sense of distance and coldness between them, and a lack of connection. The phrase 'she had thrust dead leaves/Gathered in silence' describes first her casting the leaves away and then that she had gathered them first, seeming to crowd the short phrase with action, which is then contrasted with his unmoving stoicism - he doesn't reach out and touch her, only giving what sounds like a comfortless, perfunctory response to her tears.

| Posted on 2010-01-07 | by a guest

.: Ephemera :.

Spellcheck! Sotrow=Sorrow.

Beautiful poem, one of my favorites.
Nice alliteration=he whose hand held hers...

Our souls are love, and a continual farewell= We are meant to love, made for love, but no love lasts forever; we will constantly leave and be left by people throughout our lives, a continual farewell.

This is augmented by "other loves" -plural- await us - not "another love" or "someone else's love awaits us" or "we will find love with another."
Also our "wandering hearts" - our love wanders, as humans; compare to the Wild Swans at Coolle, who Yeats admires for their loyalty to one another.

The love of these two lovers, once new, is symbolized by the young child mentioned; now fleeting and "old" it is also symbolized by the dead leaves and the old lame rabbit.

| Posted on 2005-05-17 | by Approved Guest

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