Collected Poems, by William Butler Yeats

Mohini Chatterjee

I ASKED if I should pray.

But the Brahmin said,

“pray for nothing, say

Every night in bed,

‘I have been a king,

I have been a slave,

Nor is there anything.

Fool, rascal, knave,

That I have not been,

And yet upon my breast

A myriad heads have lain.’”

That he might Set at rest

A boy’s turbulent days

Mohini Chatterjee

Spoke these, or words like these,

I add in commentary,

“Old lovers yet may have

All that time denied —

Grave is heaped on grave

That they be satisfied —

Over the blackened earth

The old troops parade,

Birth is heaped on Birth

That such cannonade

May thunder time away,

Birth-hour and death-hour meet,

Or, as great sages say,

Men dance on deathless feet.’ 0084

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 12:02