On being asked for a War Poem

30. On being asked for a War Poem

I THINK it better that in times like these
A poet keep his mouth shut, for in truth
We have no gift to set a statesman right;
He has had enough of meddling who can please
A young girl in the indolence of her youth,
Or an old man upon a winter’s night.

W.B. Yeats (1865–1939). The Wild Swans at Coole. 1919.

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