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,...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!