The Everlasting Voices

- 1865-1939
O sweet everlasting Voices be still; 
Go to the guards of the heavenly fold 
And bid them wander obeying your will 
Flame under flame, till Time be no more; 
Have you not heard that our hearts are old, 
That you call in birds, in wind on the hill, 
In shaken boughs, in tide on the shore? 
O sweet everlasting Voices be still. 
 

More by W. B. Yeats

The Young Man's Song

I whispered, "I am too young,"  
And then, "I am old enough";   
Wherefore I threw a penny   
To find out if I might love.   
"Go and love, go and love, young man,
If the lady be young and fair,"   
Ah, penny, brown penny, brown penny,   
I am looped in the loops of her hair.   
   
Oh, love is the crooked thing,   
There is nobody wise enough
To find out all that is in it,   
For he would be thinking of love   
Till the stars had run away,   
And the shadows eaten the moon.   
Ah, penny, brown penny, brown penny,
One cannot begin it too soon. 

The Sorrow of Love

The quarrel of the sparrows in the eaves, 
The full round moon and the star-laden sky, 
And the loud song of the ever-singing leaves, 
Had hid away earth's old and weary cry. 
  
And then you came with those red mournful lips, 
And with you came the whole of the world's tears, 
And all the sorrows of her labouring ships, 
And all the burden of her myriad years. 
  
And now the sparrows warring in the eaves, 
The curd-pale moon, the white stars in the sky, 
And the loud chaunting of the unquiet leaves 
Are shaken with earth's old and weary cry. 

The Player Queen

(Song from an Unfinished Play)


My mother dandled me and sang,   
'How young it is, how young!'   
And made a golden cradle   
That on a willow swung.   
   
'He went away,' my mother sang,
'When I was brought to bed,'   
And all the while her needle pulled   
The gold and silver thread.   
   
She pulled the thread and bit the thread   
And made a golden gown,
And wept because she had dreamt that I   
Was born to wear a crown.   
   
'When she was got,' my mother sang,   
'I heard a sea-mew cry,   
And saw a flake of the yellow foam 
That dropped upon my thigh.'   
   
How therefore could she help but braid   
The gold into my hair,   
And dream that I should carry   
The golden top of care?

Related Poems

i am witness to the threshing of the grain

i am witness to the threshing of the grain
the man of corn
		hanging
from a dry oak bough

bade us to be silent in our flailing 
he bade us 
		the understanding that pervades 
		the silence that is veiled 
his whisper is no louder than the locust

bade us no louder
			whrr chk chk
			whrr whrr chk chk 
flailed man threshed and scythed 
hung man of the harvest 
wheat bearded one 
unfleshed

none the mistletoe on our
			     smoky 
			     plain 
thus man sheared by the sun 
sterile fruit of the dry oak bough

hanging
	turned gently to caress
	a wing of crows
	and turned
	and saw
	and bade us to be
		     silent