William Butler Yeats had a life long love for the Irish revolutionary firebrand Maude Gonne. He asked for her hand four times and was four times rejected. After the first of these rejections in 1891, Yeats wrote White Birds from a sentiment expressed by Gonne, in which she mused that it would be better if they were like the white birds that were bobbing in the waves below the cliffs of the Irish sea. Yeats even asked Maud Gonne’s daughter Iseult to marry, and she also refused him. In the end he married Georgie Hyde-Lees in 1917 and although she was half his age, they remained married for the rest of Yeat's life and had two children togther.
White Birds William Butler Yeats