Yeats remembers forgotten Beauty

 

Jack Butler Yeats Queen Maeve Walked Upon this strand

I’m really getting the poems of  Irish poet William Butler Yeats.   This is my latest favorite, along side a painting by his equally talented brother Jack Butler Yeats.  There is such wondrous imagery in Yeats poems –  ‘the jewelled crowns that kings have hurled in shadowy pool…..  ‘cloth’ and ‘murderous moth’:) a delight! 

He remembers Forgotten Beauty

 

by: William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

 

    HEN my arms wrap you round I press
    My heart upon the loveliness
    That has long faded from the world;
    The jewelled crowns that kings have hurled
    In shadowy pools, when armies fled;
    The love-tales wrought with silken thread
    By dreaming ladies upon cloth
    That has made fat the murderous moth;
    The roses that of old time were
    Woven by ladies in their hair,
    The dew-cold lilies ladies bore
    Through many a sacred corridor
    Where such grey clouds of incense rose
    That only God’s eyes did not close:
    For that pale breast and lingering hand
    Come from a more dream-heavy land,
    A more dream-heavy hour than this;
    And when you sigh from kiss to kiss
    I hear white Beauty sighing, too,
    For hours when all must fade like dew,
    But flame on flame, and deep on deep,
    Throne over throne where in half sleep,
    Their swords upon their iron knees,
    Brood her high lonely mysteries.

Poem from here

Painting from here

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7 Responses to “Yeats remembers forgotten Beauty”

  1. I love reading the poems you post – it’s a rare thing for me to read poetry these days so thanks for keeping me literary minded. It seems such a luxury to read classic poetry in this day and age. The closest thing I come across are 140 Twitter characters – NOT a substitute for great works of the written word.

  2. I can’thelp but detect the heaviness to this, Lynda. I think I see an honesty to his poetry that imparts the writer’s feelings ever so strongly. This carries with it a longing for lost youth, or maybe it is just me. Beautiful.

    • I agree Leslie – lost youth and a sadness for the loss. I do think he is a remarkable poet, the way he paints with words is breathtaking!

      The love-tales wrought with silken thread
      By dreaming ladies upon cloth
      That has made fat the murderous moth;
      The roses that of old time were
      Woven by ladies in their hair, ……..

      You have the action (weaving) tactile (cloth) (silken thread) and moth, I suppose because he uses ‘fat’ smell (roses)
      Glad you enjoyed this as much as me Leslie!

  3. […] wrote this free verse poem some time ago and came across it agin today.  So inspired by the William Butler Yeats poem that I have posted on echostains, and shamefaced about not posting anything on here for a while (but I am going to post a book […]

  4. artistatexit0 Says:

    When I read Yeats, I can feel the passage of time, life, and the fleeting nature of civilization. I think he’s always reminding us that we are people…similar to the people that came before us…and the people who came before them…

  5. Very eloquently put Al. Yes, a sense of continuation that we are all linked to the past, presence and although some of his poems are sad – ultimately the future: that these situations, these senses, these feelings shall continue.

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