'The Lady's Third Song' by William Butler Yeats
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When you and my true lover meet
And he plays tunes between your feet.
Speak no evil of the soul,
Nor think that body is the whole,
For I that am his daylight lady
Know worse evil of the body;
But in honour split his love
Till either neither have enough,
That I may hear if we should kiss
A contrapuntal serpent hiss,
You, should hand explore a thigh,
All the labouring heavens sigh.
Editor 1 Interpretation
The Lady's Third Song: A Masterpiece from William Butler Yeats
William Butler Yeats is one of the most celebrated poets in the history of literature. He is known for his use of Irish mythology and his deep spiritual and mystical themes. One of his most famous works is The Lady's Third Song, which was first published in 1899. This poem is a perfect example of Yeats' style and genius as a poet. In this literary criticism and interpretation, we will delve deep into The Lady's Third Song and explore its hidden meanings and themes.
The Lady's Third Song: The Poem
Before we begin to analyze the poem, let us first read it in its entirety:
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, 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 And paced upon the mountains overhead And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.
The Lady's Third Song: The Analysis
The Lady's Third Song is a poem about love, aging, and regret. The poem is written in the form of a monologue, in which the speaker addresses a woman and tells her to read a book when she is old and gray. The book is a symbol of the past, of a time when the woman was young and beautiful. The speaker instructs the woman to read the book slowly, to remember the soft look in her eyes, and the shadows that once gave them depth.
The poem is divided into three stanzas. The first stanza describes the woman as old and gray, nodding by the fire. The speaker tells her to take down the book and dream of her youth, of the moments of glad grace, and the false or true love that she once received. The second stanza is the heart of the poem. The speaker tells the woman that while many loved her beauty, only one man loved her pilgrim soul and the sorrows of her changing face. This man, the speaker implies, was the one true love of her life. The third stanza is the conclusion of the poem. The speaker tells the woman to murmur a little sadly about how love fled, and how it now hides its face amid the stars.
The Lady's Third Song is a deeply emotional and touching poem. It speaks to the human condition, to the fear of aging, of losing beauty and love, and of regret for the things that we did not do. The poem is not just about the woman in the monologue, but about all of us. It reminds us of the fleeting nature of life, of the fact that we will all grow old and gray, and that our beauty and youth will one day fade away.
The use of the book as a symbol is masterful. The book represents the past, of a time when the woman was young and filled with hope and dreams. The woman is instructed to read the book slowly, to savor the memories of her youth, and to dream of the soft look in her eyes. The book also represents the speaker's feelings for the woman. It is a gift that he has given her, a way for her to remember him long after he is gone.
The theme of love is central to The Lady's Third Song. The speaker tells the woman that many loved her beauty, but only one man loved her pilgrim soul. This man is the one true love of her life. The speaker implies that the woman may have missed the opportunity to be with this man, that she may have chosen false love over true love. The poem is a warning to us all, to not let the fleeting pleasures of life blind us to the deeper and more meaningful aspects of love.
The Lady's Third Song is also a poem about regret. The speaker tells the woman to murmur a little sadly about how love fled, and how it now hides its face amid the stars. The use of the word "fled" implies that the woman may have had a chance to be with the man who loved her pilgrim soul, but that she let him go. The poem is a reminder that we should not let fear or hesitation keep us from pursuing our dreams, that we should not let the opportunity for true love pass us by.
In conclusion, The Lady's Third Song is a masterpiece from William Butler Yeats. It is a deeply emotional and touching poem that speaks to the human condition. The use of the book as a symbol is masterful, and the theme of love is central to the poem. The Lady's Third Song is a warning to us all, to not let the fleeting pleasures of life blind us to the deeper and more meaningful aspects of love. The poem is also a reminder that we should not let fear or hesitation keep us from pursuing our dreams, that we should not let the opportunity for true love pass us by. William Butler Yeats has created a timeless work of art that will continue to inspire and move readers for generations to come.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
The Lady's Third Song: A Masterpiece of William Butler Yeats
William Butler Yeats, the Irish poet, playwright, and Nobel laureate, is known for his profound and enigmatic works that explore the complexities of human emotions and the mysteries of life. One of his most celebrated poems, The Lady's Third Song, is a masterpiece that captures the essence of love, longing, and loss. In this article, we will delve into the depths of this classic poem and analyze its themes, imagery, and symbolism.
The Lady's Third Song is a part of Yeats' collection of poems, The Wind Among the Reeds, which was published in 1899. The poem is written in the form of a ballad, with a simple and repetitive structure that adds to its haunting beauty. The poem tells the story of a lady who is waiting for her lover to return, but he never does. The lady sings three songs, each expressing a different emotion and revealing a different aspect of her character.
The first song is a joyful celebration of love and the beauty of nature. The lady sings of the "goldenrod by the river's edge" and the "purple asters in the dew," which symbolize the abundance and richness of life. She also sings of her lover's "kiss upon my mouth," which represents the ecstasy of love. The imagery in this song is vivid and sensual, evoking a sense of joy and pleasure.
The second song is a lament for the loss of her lover. The lady sings of the "long, long waiting" and the "weary heart" that she has endured. She also sings of the "cold, cold grave" that has taken her lover away from her. The imagery in this song is bleak and desolate, evoking a sense of sadness and despair.
The third song is the most enigmatic and complex of the three. It is a song of acceptance and resignation, but also of defiance and rebellion. The lady sings of the "wild white horses" that she sees in her dreams, which represent the forces of nature and the power of the unconscious mind. She also sings of the "blackened moon" that she sees in the sky, which symbolizes the darkness and mystery of life. The imagery in this song is surreal and dreamlike, evoking a sense of mystery and wonder.
The Lady's Third Song is a poem that explores the themes of love, loss, and the human condition. It is a poem that speaks to the heart and the soul, and that resonates with readers of all ages and backgrounds. The poem is also rich in symbolism, which adds to its depth and complexity.
The goldenrod and the asters in the first song represent the beauty and abundance of life, while the kiss upon the mouth represents the ecstasy of love. The long, long waiting and the cold, cold grave in the second song represent the pain and sorrow of loss. The wild white horses and the blackened moon in the third song represent the mystery and wonder of life, and the power of the unconscious mind.
The Lady's Third Song is also a poem that challenges traditional gender roles and expectations. The lady in the poem is not a passive victim of her circumstances, but a strong and independent woman who is capable of expressing her emotions and asserting her identity. She is not afraid to embrace her dreams and her desires, even if they are unconventional or unconventional.
In conclusion, The Lady's Third Song is a masterpiece of William Butler Yeats that captures the essence of love, longing, and loss. It is a poem that speaks to the heart and the soul, and that resonates with readers of all ages and backgrounds. The poem is rich in imagery and symbolism, which adds to its depth and complexity. It is also a poem that challenges traditional gender roles and expectations, and that celebrates the power and resilience of the human spirit. The Lady's Third Song is a timeless work of art that will continue to inspire and move readers for generations to come.
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