June 13, 2010

A Poem by William Butler Yeats

I passed along the water's edge below the humid trees,
My spirit rocked in evening light, the rushes round my knees,
My spirit rocked in sleep and sighs; and saw the moorfowl place
All dripping on a grassy slope, and saw them cease to chase
Each other round in circles, and heard the eldest speak:
Who holds the world between His bill and made us strong or weak
Is an undying moorfowl, and He lives beyond the sky.
The rains are from His dripping wing, the moonbeams from His eye.


I passed a little further on and heard a lotus talk:
For I am in His image made, and all this tinkling tide
Is but a sliding drop of rain between His petals wide.


A little way within the gloom a roebuck raised his eyes
Brimful of starlight, and he said: The Stamper of the Skies,
He is a gentle roebuck; for how else, I pray, could He
Conceive a thing so sad and soft, a gentle thing like me?

I passed a little further on and heard a peacock say:
Who made the grass and made the worms and made my feathers gay?
He is a monstrous peacock, and He waveth all the night
His languid tail above us, lit with myriad spots of light.

by William Butler Yeats (from collection "Crossways" 1889)

3 comments:

Betty said...

Love the poem and the pictures, all your new lambs are so beautiful!! Lots of wool coming up!!

Aimee said...

Hmmmm, quite loveley pictures to go along with a loveley poem....after reading it a few times I can see how it is sort of cheerful! Always enjoy reading your updates!

Val said...

It is cheerful and contemplative compared to "Stolen Child" by Yeats which is a favorite of mine.
Thanks for the comment!