Saturday, March 8, 2014

W. B. Yeats

W. B. Yeats [The Yeats Society]

my favorite bits from W. B. Yeats's "The Tower":

                                  — this caricature,
Decrepit age that has been tied to me
As to a dog’s tail . . .

Tree, like a sooty finger, starts from the earth . . .

A serving-man, that could divine
That most respected lady’s every wish,
Ran and with the garden shears
Clipped an insolent farmer’s ears
And brought them in a little covered dish. . . .

He stumbled, tumbled, fumbled to and fro
And had but broken knees for hire
And horrible splendour of desire . . .

their great wooden dice beat on the board . . .

Come old, necessitous, half-mounted man;
And bring beauty’s blind rambling celebrant . . .

the labyrinth of another’s being . . .

Pride, like that of the morn,
When the headlong light is loose,
Or that of the fabulous horn,
Or that of the sudden shower
When all streams are dry,
Or that of the hour
When the swan must fix his eye
Upon a fading gleam,
Float out upon a long
Last reach of glittering stream
And there sing his last song. . . .

As at the loophole there
The daws chatter and scream,
And drop twigs layer upon layer.
When they have mounted up,
The mother bird will rest
On their hollow top,
And so warm her wild nest. . . .

Till the wreck of body,
Slow decay of blood,
Testy delirium
Or dull decrepitude,
Or what worse evil come —
The death of friends, or death
Of every brilliant eye
That made a catch in the breath —

Seem but the clouds of the sky
When the horizon fades;
Or a bird’s sleepy cry
Among the deepening shades.

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