Yeats [by George Charles Beresford, 1911]
Under the Moon
by William Butler Yeats
from In the Seven Woods (1904)
I have no happiness in dreaming of Brycelinde,
Nor Avalon the grass green hollow, nor Joyous Isle,
Where one found Lancelot crazed and hid him for a while;
Nor Ulad when Naoise had thrown a sail upon the wind;
Nor lands that seem too dim to be burdens on the heart;
Land-under-Wave, where out of the moon’s light and the sun’s
Seven old sisters wind the threads of the long lived ones,
Land-of-the-Tower, where Aengus has thrown the gates apart,
And Wood-of-Wonders, where one kills an ox at dawn
To find it when night falls laid on a golden bier.
Therein are many queens like Branwen, and Guinivere;
And Niamh, and Laban, and Fand, who could change to an otter or fawn,
And the wood-woman whose lover was changed to a blue-eyed hawk;
And whether I go in my dreams by woodland, or dun, or shore,
Or on the unpeopled waves with kings to pull at the oar,
I hear the harp string praise them or hear their mournful talk.
Because of something told under the famished horn
Of the hunter’s moon, that hung between the night and the day,
To dream of women whose beauty was folded in dismay,
Even in an old story, is a burden not to be borne.
To read more Yeats in the Online Library, please click here.