In a lot of Yeats poems it seems like he is love but this woman is not in love with him. He seems to have

a lot of regret in his poems. Yeats feels like he wasted a lot of his time loving this woman. This poem Adam’s

Curse mentions love and heartache. Those two words tie well together because love brings heartache. In the

second stanza line 4-6 it says, “finding that her voice is sweet and low Replied, ‘To be born woman is to

know— Although they do not talk of it at school— That we must labour to be beautiful.” What Yeats is trying to

say here is that it is hard work being a woman. He is also tryingto say that it is hard work that women go

through.
In the next stanza on the last line it says, “That it had all seemed happy, and yet we’d grown

As weary-hearted as that hollow moon.” When he says it seemed happy he means the love that he thought they had

seemed happy. When he says seemed he mean that it wasnt what he thought but it was just a front. That is a

uneasy feeling thinking someone feels a certain way about you when they really don’t. When you love someone

you would hope they would have that same feeling for you in return. Then he says they gorwn as weary as the

hollow moon, when he says this he is saying that their love has grown tired and and empty. If he is saying

empty he means he feels empty hearted beause she does not love him back.

Adam’s Curse
Adam’s Curse
By William Butler Yeats 1865–1939
We sat together at one summer’s end,
That beautiful mild woman, your close friend,
And you and I, and talked of poetry.
I said, ‘A line will take us hours maybe;
Yet if it does not seem a moment’s thought,
Our stitching and unstitching has been naught.
Better go down upon your marrow-bones
And scrub a kitchen pavement, or break stones
Like an old pauper, in all kinds of weather;
For to articulate sweet sounds together
Is to work harder than all these, and yet
Be thought an idler by the noisy set
Of bankers, schoolmasters, and clergymen
The martyrs call the world.’
And thereupon
That beautiful mild woman for whose sake
There’s many a one shall find out all heartache
On finding that her voice is sweet and low
Replied, ‘To be born woman is to know—
Although they do not talk of it at school—
That we must labour to be beautiful.’
I said, ‘It’s certain there is no fine thing
Since Adam’s fall but needs much labouring.
There have been lovers who thought love should be
So much compounded of high courtesy
That they would sigh and quote with learned looks
Precedents out of beautiful old books;
Yet now it seems an idle trade enough.’

We sat grown quiet at the name of love;
We saw the last embers of daylight die,
And in the trembling blue-green of the sky
A moon, worn as if it had been a shell
Washed by time’s waters as they rose and fell
About the stars and broke in days and years.

I had a thought for no one’s but your ears:
That you were beautiful, and that I strove
To love you in the old high way of love;
That it had all seemed happy, and yet we’d grown
As weary-hearted as that hollow moon.

Source: The Collected Poems of W. B. Yeats (1989)

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