The Author William Butler Yeats

To A Shade


    If you have revisited the town, thin Shade,
    Whether to look upon your monument
    (I wonder if the builder has been paid)
    Or happier thoughted when the day is spent
    To drink of that salt breath out of the sea
    When grey gulls flit about instead of men,
    And the gaunt houses put on majesty:
    Let these content you and be gone again;
    For they are at their old tricks yet.
    A man
    Of your own passionate serving kind who had brought
    In his full hands what, had they only known,
    Had given their children’s children loftier thought,
    Sweeter emotion, working in their veins
    Like gentle blood, has been driven from the place,
    And insult heaped upon him for his pains
    And for his open-handedness, disgrace;
    An old foul mouth that slandered you had set
    The pack upon him.
    Go, unquiet wanderer
    And gather the Glasnevin coverlet
    About your head till the dust stops your ear,
    The time for you to taste of that salt breath
    And listen at the corners has not come;
    You had enough of sorrow before death,
    Away, away! You are safer in the tomb.


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