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Poetry Archives

A continuing selection of classic and contemporary poems.

The Choice

William Butler Yeats

The intellect of man is forced to choose
perfection of the life, or of the work,
And if it take the second must refuse
A heavenly mansion, raging in the dark.
When all that story’s finished, what’s the news?
In luck or out the toil has left its mark:
That old perplexity an empty purse,
Or the day’s vanity, the night’s remorse.
Online text © 1998-2014 Poetry X. All rights reserved.
From The Winding Stair and Other Poems | 1933
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