Collected Poems, by William Butler Yeats

From The Shadowy Waters (1906)

To Lady Gregory

I walked among the seven woods of Coole:

Shan-walla, where a willow-bordered pond

Gathers the wild duck from the winter dawn;

Shady Kyle-dortha; sunnier Kyle-na-no,

Where many hundred squirrels are as happy

As though they had been hidden by green boughs

Where old age cannot find them; Paire-na-lee,

Where hazel and ash and privet blind the paths:

Dim Pairc-na-carraig, where the wild bees fling

Their sudden fragrances on the green air;

Dim Pairc-na-tarav, where enchanted eyes

Have seen immortal, mild, proud shadows walk;

Dim Inchy wood, that hides badger and fox

And marten-cat, and borders that old wood

Wise Buddy Early called the wicked wood:

Seven odours, seven murmurs, seven woods.

I had not eyes like those enchanted eyes,

Yet dreamed that beings happier than men

Moved round me in the shadows, and at night

My dreams were clown by voices and by fires;

And the images I have woven in this story

Of Forgael and Dectora and the empty waters

Moved round me in the voices and the fires,

And more I may not write of, for they that cleave

The waters of sleep can make a chattering tongue

Heavy like stone, their wisdom being half silence.

How shall I name you, immortal, mild, proud shadows?

I only know that all we know comes from you,

And that you come from Eden on flying feet.

Is Eden far away, or do you hide

From human thought, as hares and mice and coneys

That run before the reaping-hook and lie

In the last ridge of the barley? Do our woods

And winds and ponds cover more quiet woods,

More shining winds, more star-glimmering ponds?

Is Eden out of time and out of space?

And do you gather about us when pale light

Shining on water and fallen among leaves,

And winds blowing from flowers, and whirr of feathers

And the green quiet, have uplifted the heart?

I have made this poem for you, that men may read it

Before they read of Forgael and Dectora,

As men in the old times, before the harps began,

Poured out wine for the high invisible ones.

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/y/yeats/william_butler/y4c/part127.html

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