William Butler Yeats

His Dream

I swayed upon the gaudy stem The butt-end of a steering-oar, And saw wherever I could turn A crowd upon a shore. And though I would have hushed the crowd, There was no mother's son but said, "What is the figure in a shroud Upon a gaudy bed?' And after running at the brim Cried out upon that thing beneath - It had such dignity of limb - By the sweet name of Death. Though I'd my finger on my lip, What could I but take up the song? And running crowd and gaudy ship Cried out the whole night long, Crying amid the glittering sea, Naming it with ecstatic breath, Because it had such dignity, By the sweet name of Death.

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