Poem – A – Day: Never Give All the Heart by W. B. Yeats

Today’s poem comes from my literary soul mate, William Butler Yeats. While I am sure  that Mr. Yeats will be making more than one appearance here during National Poetry Month, the wistful melancholy of this poem really appealed to me today.

Never Give All the Heart
By W. B. Yeats

Never give all the heart, for love
Will hardly seem worth thinking of
To passionate women if it seem
Certain, and they never dream
That it fades out from kiss to kiss;
For everything that’s lovely is
But a brief, dreamy, kind delight.
O never give the heart outright,
For they, for all smooth lips can say,
Have given their hearts up to the play.
And who could play it well enough
If deaf and dumb and blind with love?
He that made this knows all the cost,
For he gave all his heart and lost.

This poem also has the distinction of being very heavily featured in a lovely song from the T. V. show, Smash. The show, which was a behind the scenes glimpse of a fictional Marilyn Monroe Broadway show, had its issues and was eventually cancelled but when things came together, as it did for this song, it was really glorious.

Check it out here: Never Give All the Heart – Smash

You can also see more of my Poem – a  – Day posts here

And you can find some of my handmade poetry – inspired jewelry  (including this W. B. Yeats Poetry Pendant) here at my Etsy Shop.  Use the coupon code: POETRY14 to save 35% on your order.


About Ciarrai

Hi. My name is Kerry but here online I tend to go by the Gaelic version of my name, Ciarrai. I am a woman in my mid-30's who lives on Long Island, NY, with my husband, Rob, several guitars, a Nikon D40, more yarn, beads and books than I care to admit to and a cat who has a million nicknames and quite a few theme songs. I have a B.A. in Psychology and have recently returned to college to pursue a teaching degree so that I can eventually get a job as a High School English teacher. In addition to my major obsessions (Reading, Beading, Knitting, Music and Photography), I also enjoy playing Board Games, going to Renaissance Faires, Museums and Broadway Musicals.
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