William Butler Yeats

Coole Park

1929

I meditate upon a swallow's flight, Upon a aged woman and her house, A sycamore and lime-tree lost in night Although that western cloud is luminous, Great works constructed there in nature's spite For scholars and for poets after us, Thoughts long knitted into a single thought, A dance-like glory that those walls begot. There Hyde before he had beaten into prose That noble blade the Muses buckled on, There one that ruffled in a manly pose For all his timid heart, there that slow man, That meditative man, John Synge, and those Impetuous men, Shawe-Taylor and Hugh Lane, Found pride established in humility, A scene well Set and excellent company. They came like swallows and like swallows went, And yet a woman's powerful character Could keep a Swallow to its first intent; And half a dozen in formation there, That seemed to whirl upon a compass-point, Found certainty upon the dreaming air, The intellectual sweetness of those lines That cut through time or cross it withershins. Here, traveller, scholar, poet, take your stand When all those rooms and passages are gone, When nettles wave upon a shapeless mound And saplings root among the broken stone, And dedicate - eyes bent upon the ground, Back turned upon the brightness of the sun And all the sensuality of the shade - A moment's memory to that laurelled head.