“Some may have blamed you that you took away
The verses that could move them on the day
When, the ears being deafened, the sight of the eyes blind
With lightning you went from me, and I could find
Nothing to make a song about but kings,
Helmets, and swords, and half-forgotten things
That were like memories of you—but now
We’ll out, for the world lives as long ago;
And while we’re in our laughing, weeping fit,
Hurl helmets, crowns, and swords into the pit.
But, dear, cling close to me; since you were gone,
My barren thoughts have chilled me to the bone.”
Reconciliation, by WB Yeats.
This tumblr has descended into a repository of century-old poems, for now at least.
What a beezer of a closing line this one’s got.
“All the forces that have been engaged through the years of childhood, adolescence and youth in confused and ferocious combat range themselves in ordered ranks (and during which) the straight and narrow gateway of maturity, and life which was all uproar and confusion narrows down to form and purpose, and we exchange a great dim possibility for a small hard reality. Also in our American life where there is no coercion in custom and it is our right to change our vocation so often as we have desire and opportunity, it is a common experience that our youth extends through the whole first twenty-nine years of our life and it is not till we reach thirty that we find at last that vocation for which we feel ourselves fit and to which we willingly devote continued labor.”
“It is a God-damned lie to say that these
Saved, or knew, anything worth any man’s pride.
They were professional murderers and they took
Their blood money and their impious risks and died.
In spite of all their kind some elements of worth
With difficulty persist here and there on earth.”
I caught sight of a splendid Misses.
She had handkerchiefs and kisses.
She had eyes and yellow shoes she had everything to choose and she chose me.
In passing through France she wore a Chinese hat and so did I.
In looking at the sun she read a map. And so did I.
In eating fish and pork she just grew fat. And so did I.
In loving a blue sea she had a pain. And so did I.
In loving me she of necessity thought first. And so did I.
How prettily we swim. Not in water. Not on land. But in love.
How often do we need trees and hills. Not often.
And how often do we need birds. Not often.
And how often do we need wishes. Not often.
And how often do we need glasses not often.
We drink wine and we make well we have not made it yet.
How often do we need a kiss. Very often and we add when tenderness overwhelms us we speedily eat veal.
And what else, ham and a little pork and raw artichokes and ripe olives and chester cheese and cakes and caramels and all the melon. We still have a great deal of it left. I wonder where it is. Conserved melon. Let me offer it to you.”
“From time to time, I work with Will at the foundation, rewriting requests for grants. No such job technically exists, but that’s what I do. I try to recycle the film-is-the-medium and the cable-television-for-the-ghetto people, and help the Blake fanatics and the street reformers who work very hard. Sometimes I miss, or lose the point. Late-sleeping utopians, especially, persist like mercury.”