File:William Butler Yeat by George Charles Beresford.jpg
Yeats [by George Charles Beresford, 1911]

The Dolls
by William Butler Yeats
from Responsibilities [1914]




A doll in the doll-maker’s house
Looks at the cradle and bawls:
“That is an insult to us.”
But the oldest of all the dolls
Who had seen, being kept for show,
Generations of his sort,
Out-screams the whole shelf: “Although
There’s not a man can report
Evil of this place,
The man and the woman bring
Hither to our disgrace,
A noisy and filthy thing.”
Hearing him groan and stretch
The doll-maker’s wife is aware
Her husband has heard the wretch,
And crouched by the arm of his chair,
She murmurs into his ear,
Head upon shoulder leant:
“My dear, my dear, O dear,
It was an accident.”


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