Pardon, old fathers, if you still remain Somewhere in ear-shot for the storys end, Old Dublin merchant free of ten and four Or trading out of Galway into Spain; And country scholar, Robert Emmets friend, A hundred-year-old memory to the poor; Traders or soldiers who have left me blood That has not passed through any huxters loin, Pardon, and you that did not weigh the cost, Old Butlers when you took to horse and stood Beside the brackish waters of the Boyne Till your bad master blenched and all was lost; You merchant skipper that leaped overboard After a ragged hat in Biscay Bay, You most of all, silent and fierce old man Because you were the spectacle that stirred My fancy, and set my boyish lips to say Only the wastful virtues earn the sun; Pardon that for a barren passions sake, Although I have come close on forty-nine I have no child, I have nothing but a book, Nothing but that to prove your blood and mine.
Return to the William Butler Yeats library , or . . . Read the next poem; John Kinsella's Lament For Mr. Mary Moore