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“A Prayer for My Daughter” is a poem written by W.B. Yeats on the birth of his daughter. One of the themes of the poem is contrasting the future he desires for his daughter with the life of Maud Gonne, his lover. In the last stanza these lines occur

How but in custom and in ceremony
Are innocence and beauty born?

Please explain these lines.

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  • Too open-ended as a question.
    – Mary
    Mar 18 at 0:09
  • 2
    Question seems fine to me! Asking about the meaning of lines of poetry is the bread-and-butter of this site. Mar 19 at 11:54

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