W.B. Yeats


The Tower by W.B. Yeats


The wreck of body, slow decay of blood

Testy delirium Or dull decrepitude

Or what worse that will come

The death of friends


Nineteen Hundred and Nineteen by W.B. Yeats



…but now

That winds of winter blow

Learn that we were crack-pated when we dreamed.



Come let us mock at the great

Come let us mock at the wise

Come let us mock at the good

… for we traffic in mockery.




Violence upon the roads: violence of horses;

Some few have handsome riders, are garlanded

On delicate sensitive ear or tossing mane,

But wearied running round and round in their courses

All break and vanish, and evil gathers head:

Herodias’ daughters have returned again

A sudden blast of dusty wind and after

Thunder of feet, tumult of images,

Their purpose in the labyrinth of the wind;

And should some crazy hand dare touch a daughter

All turn with amorous cries, or angry cries,

According to the wind, for all are blind.

But now wind drops, dust settles; thereupon

There lurches past, his great eyes without thought

Under the shadow of stupid straw-pale locks,

That insolent fiend Robert Artisson

To whom the love-lorn Lady Kyteler brought

Bronzed peacock feathers, red combs of her cocks.


On A Picture of A Black Centaur by Edmond Dulac


Your hooves have stamped at the black margin of the wood,

Even where horrible green parrots call and swing.

My works are all stamped down into the sultry mud.

I knew that horse play, knew it for a murderous thing.

What wholesome sun has ripened is wholesome food to eat

And that along; yet I, being driven half insane

Because of some green wing, gathered old mummy wheat

In the mad abstract dark and ground  it grain by grain

And after baked it slowly in an oven; but now

I bring full flavoured wine out of a barrel found

Where seven Ephesian topers slept and never knew

When Alexander’s empire past, they slept so sound.

Stretch out your limbs and sleep a long Saturnian sleep;

I have loved you better than my soul for all my words,

And there is none so fit to keep a watch and keep

Unwearied eyes upon those horrible green birds.


Colonus’ Praise by W.B. Yeats

Every Colonus lad or lass discourses

Of that oar and of that bit;

Summer and winter, day and night,

Of horses and horses of the sea, white horses.

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