The Choice

By W. B. Yeats

The intellect of man is forced to choose
Perfection of the life, or of the work,
And if it take the second must refuse
A heavenly mansion, raging in the dark.

When all that story 's finished, what's the news?
In luck or out the toil has left its mark:
That old perplexity an empty purse,
Or the day's vanity, the night's remorse.


"The Choice" by W. B. Yeats. Reproduced with permission from United Agents on behalf of the W. B. Yeats Estate.