- That is no country for old men. The young
- In one another's arms, birds in the trees
- – Those dying generations – at their song,
- The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas,
- Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long
- Whatever is begotten, born, and dies.
- Caught in that sensual music all neglect
- Monuments of unageing intellect.
- An aged man is but a paltry thing,
- A tattered coat upon a stick, unless
- Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing
- For every tatter in its mortal dress,
- Nor is there singing school but studying
- Monuments of its own magnificence;
- And therefore I have sailed the seas and come
- To the holy city of Byzantium.
- O sages standing in God's holy fire
- As in the gold mosaic of a wall,
- Come from the holy fire, perne in a gyre,
- And be the singing-masters of my soul.
- Consume my heart away; sick with desire
- And fastened to a dying animal
- It knows not what it is; and gather me
- Into the artifice of eternity.
- Once out of nature I shall never take
- My bodily form from any natural thing,
- But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make
- Of hammered gold and gold enamelling
- To keep a drowsy Emperor awake;
- Or set upon a golden bough to sing
- To lords and ladies of Byzantium
- Of what is past, or passing, or to come.