EIRE: The Phoenix

And there's a score of duchesses, surpassing womankind,

Or who have found a painter to make them so for pay

And smooth out stain and blemish with the elegance of his mind:

I knew a phoenix in my youth, so let them have their day.

And who can say but some young belle may walk and talk men wild

Who is my beauty's equal, though that my heart denies. . . .*

Few in Ireland a generation ago would have dared contradict the smitten heart of Poet William Butler Yeats. Like the fabulous bird of Greek myth,...

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