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The rise and fall of W.B. Yeats's enthusiasm for Rabindranath Tagore as a poet is analyzed here as due primarily to Yeats's own changing aspirations for restoring a pristine Ireland. Reinforcing this psychological interpretation is a post-colonial argument that finds Yeats, notwithstanding his opposition to colonial rule in Ireland and India, as unable to appreciate the Bengali poet as intellectually and politically a fully mature and autonomous individual. Once Tagore had rejected his British knighthood in protest against the Jallianwalla Bagh massacre, it is argued, he no longer fitted the benign but condescending stereotype of serene, spiritual Oriental that had helped propel him to the Nobel Prize.