Poems of W.B. Yeats: The Rose

i. Did you notice any difference in focus between the first and last stanzas, and the second stanza? What is the difference?

When You are Old

WHEN you are old and gray and full of sleep

And nodding by the fire, take down this book,

And slowly read, and dream of the soft look

Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace, 5

And loved your beauty with love false or true;

But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,

And loved the sorrows of your changing face.

And bending down beside the glowing bars,

Murmur, a little sadly, how love fled 10

And paced upon the mountains overhead,

And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

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Stanza 1

The subject is old and greyrecalling the "shadows" of the past.

Stanza 2- The love that filled the subject's life, particularily one man. Unconditional love.

Stanza 3- The leaving of love. Death seems to be alluded to. "face amid a crowd of stars."