Yeats “He Wishes For the Cloths of Heaven”

Romantic poetry confuses me.  On the one hand, I am touched by the depth of feeling the author feels/evokes, and by the beauty of her/his word choice.  On the other hand, I am disgusted by the overly sentimental irrationality reflected in them–the content reflects minds that are insecure, disturbed, juvenile, immature, unstable, etc. etc. etc.  Perhaps this is because the “love” written about in romantic poetry tends to be that passionate immature love that burns brightly and then flares out (and tends to leave a path of destruction in its wake).

In any case, today I was reminded of this Yeats poem:

Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

I suppose (being an uncultured sort) I shall just resign myself to irrationally loving these verses: “But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.”

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