William Butler Yeats was an Irish poet, dramatist, writer and one of the foremost figures of 20th-century literature. He was a driving force behind the Irish Literary Revival. He then became a pillar of the Irish literary establishment who helped to found the Abbey Theatre. In his later years he served two terms as a Senator of the Irish Free State. For Anne Gregory is one of his poems that is published in NCERT books.

William Butler Yeats
William Butler Yeats


W.B. Yeats has tried to touch a very important topic through his poem. He says that it is almost impossible to find a person in your life who loves you truly. By saying truly, he means the one who loves you for your qualities and not your looks. He says that only God loves us for what we are from inside.

For Anne Gregory

The poem is basically a conversation between the poet, Yeats and a young girl named Anne Gregory. The poet tells her that if she finds a young boy who becomes sad because of her rejection, it doesn’t mean that he was a true lover. He could have been in love with her because of her beautiful yellow hair. This means that the boy might be in love with her because of her attractive looks. He says that a true lover will be the one who will love her for her inner qualities and not her looks.

To this, Anne says that she will change her looks by dying her hair into some other colour. She will become less attractive and then, maybe, she will find a true love for herself. So, at last, he explains to her that the previous night, he had heard some religious man saying that only God loves us for what we are. This means that God never loves us for our looks but for our inner beauty.

For Anne Gregory

“Never shall a young man,

Thrown into despair

By those great honey-coloured

Ramparts at your ear,

Love you for yourself alone

And not your yellow hair.”

“But I can get a hair-dye

And set such colour there,

Brown, or black, or carrot,

That young men in despair

May love me for myself alone

And not my yellow hair.”

“I heard an old religious man

But yesternight declare

That he had found a text to prove

That only God, my dear,

Could love you for yourself alone

And not your yellow hair.”


CA Nitin Kaushik (Imaginary_Lands)

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