Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
Nineteen Hundred and Nineteen (Author: William Butler Yeats)


  1. Many ingenious lovely things are gone
    That seemed sheer miracle to the multitude,


    Protected from the circle of the moon
    That pitches common things about. There stood
    Amid the ornamental bronze and stone
    An ancient image made of olive wood —
    And gone are Phidias' famous ivories
    And all the golden grasshoppers and bees.
  1. When Loie Fuller's Chinese dancers enwound
    A shining web, a floating ribbon of cloth,
    It seemed that a dragon of air
    Had fallen among dancers, had whirled them round
    Or hurried them off on its own furious path;
    So the Platonic Year
    Whirls out new right and wrong,
    Whirls in the old instead;
    All men are dancers and their tread
    Goes to the barbarous clangour of a gong.
  1. Some moralist or mythological poet
    Compares the solitary soul to a swan;
    I am satisfied with that,
    Satisfied if a troubled mirror show it,
    Before that brief gleam of its life be gone,
    An image of its state;
    The wings half spread for flight,
    The breast thrust out in pride
    Whether to play, or to ride
    Those winds that clamour of approaching night.

  2. p.209

  1. We, who seven yeats ago
    Talked of honour and of truth,
    Shriek with pleasure if we show
    The weasel's twist, the weasel's tooth.
  1. Come let us mock at the great
    That had such burdens on the mind
    And toiled so hard and late
    To leave some monument behind,
    Nor thought of the levelling wind.
  1. Violence upon the roads: violence of horses;
    Some few have handsome riders, are garlanded
    On delicate sensitive ear or tossing mane,
    But wearied running round and round in their courses
    All break and vanish, and evil gathers head:
    Herodias' daughters have returned again,
    A sudden blast of dusty wind and after
    Thunder of feet, tumult of images,
    Their purpose in the labyrinth of the wind;
    And should some crazy hand dare touch a daughter
    All turn with amorous cries, or angry cries,
    According to the wind, for all are blind.
    But now wind drops, dust settles; thereupon
    There lurches past, his great eyes without thought
    Under the shadow of stupid straw-pale locks,
    That insolent fiend Robert Artisson
    To whom the love-lorn Lady Kyteler brought
    Bronzed peacock feathers, red combs of her cocks.