Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Wild Swans at Coole / W.B. Yeats


The Wild Swans at Coole

The trees are in their autumn beauty,
The woodland paths are dry,
Under the October twilight the water
Mirrors a still sky;
Upon the brimming water among the stones
Are nine-and-fifty swans.

The nineteenth autumn has come upon me
Since I first made my count;
I saw, before I had well finished,
All suddenly mount
And scatter wheeling in great broken rings
Upon their clamorous wings.

I have looked upon those brilliant creatures,
And now my heart is sore.
All's changed since I, hearing at twilight,
The first time on this shore,
The bell-beat of their wings above my head,
Trod with a lighter tread.

Unwearied still, lover by lover,
They paddle in the cold
Companionable streams or climb the air;
Their hearts have not grown old;
Passion or conquest, wander where they will,
Attend upon them still.

But now they drift on the still water,
Mysterious, beautiful;
Among what rushes will they build,
By what lake's edge or pool
Delight men's eyes when I awake some day
To find they have flown away?

~~
William Butler Yeats
from The Wild Swans at Coole, 1919

[Poem is in the public domain in Canada, the United States, and the European Union]

William Butler Yeats biography

2 comments:

  1. Here the birds are less majestic, more realistic.

    on the slanting roof
    four, no five evenly spaced
    egrets


    Via instinct, they can divide a resting place in as many pieces as needed.

    ReplyDelete
  2. "david dands" is the Usenet alias of TPB contributor David Rutkowski:

    http://gdancesbetty.blogspot.ca/search/label/David%20Rutkowski

    ReplyDelete