9/26/2009

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

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