Thank you for visiting!
If you haven't already, please consider donating.
Visitor donations keep us online and growing!
by William Butler Yeats (1865 - 1939)
Endure what life God gives and ask no...
Endure what life God gives and ask no longer span; Cease to remember the delights of youth, travel-wearied aged man; Delight becomes death-longing if all longing else be vain. Even from that delight memory treasures so, Death, despair, division of families, all entanglements of mankind grow, As that old wandering beggar and these God-hated children know. In the long echoing street the laughing dancers throng, The bride is catried to the bridegroom's chamber through torchlight and tumultuous song; I celebrate the silent kiss that ends short life or long. Never to have lived is best, ancient writers say; Never to have drawn the breath of life, never to have looked into the eye of day; The second best's a gay goodnight and quickly turn away.
About the headline (FAQ)Later published in The Tower, one of A Man Young And Old, no. 11
- by William Butler Yeats (1865 - 1939), "From "Oedipus at Colonus"", appears in October Blast, first published 1927 [author's text checked 1 time against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive):
- by Seóirse Bodley (b. 1933), "Never to have lived is best", 1965. [soprano and orchestra] [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]
- by Raymond Warren (b. 1928), "From "Oedipus at Colonus"", published 1971 [baritone and piano], from Songs of Old Age [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
This text was added to the website: 2009-01-19
Line count: 12
Word count: 125