Collected Poems, by William Butler Yeats

News for the Delphic Oracle

THERE all the golden codgers lay,

There the silver dew,

And the great water sighed for love,

And the wind sighed too.

Man-picker Niamh leant and sighed

By Oisin on the grass;

There sighed amid his choir of love

Tall Pythagoras.

Plotinus came and looked about,

The salt-flakes on his breast,

And having stretched and yawned awhile

Lay sighing like the rest.

Straddling each a dolphin’s back

And steadied by a fin,

Those Innocents re-live their death,

Their wounds open again.

The ecstatic waters laugh because

Their cries are sweet and strange,

Through their ancestral patterns dance,

And the brute dolphins plunge

Until, in some cliff-sheltered bay

Where wades the choir of love

Proffering its sacred laurel crowns,

They pitch their burdens off.

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Last updated Tuesday, March 4, 2014 at 14:50