Kindness is advertised, and I am told,
Kindness is better than desperate love, desperate and bold,
Or passionate love, inquisitive and sly.
William Butler Yeats has said that a kindness will charm
Even the mad, roving lover’s troubled eye.

Courtesy, Yeats said—his best poem quoted to me by a cautious friend—
Is how my daughter must be chiefly learned—kindness and courtesy, the shore
Where wave-crashing beauty comes to its ship-wrecked end.

We were so bold to love, and we put out on the salty sea,
A sea of confusion and tears, the sea now seems to me.
But though I lie, hurting on the beach, kindness is a what, not a who;
I do need kindness and courtesy; what Yeats says is true—
But the kindness I need must come from you.








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