William Butler Yeats

A Prayer For My Son

Bid a strong ghost stand at the head That my Michael may sleep sound, Nor cry, nor turn in the bed Till his morning meal come round; And may departing twilight keep All dread afar till morning's back. That his mother may not lack Her fill of sleep. Bid the ghost have sword in fist: Some there are, for I avow Such devilish things exist, Who have planned his murder, for they know Of some most haughty deed or thought That waits upon his future days, And would through hatred of the bays Bring that to nought. Though You can fashion everything From nothing every day, and teach The morning stars to sing, You have lacked articulate speech To tell Your simplest want, and known, Wailing upon a woman's knee, All of that worst ignominy Of flesh and bone; And when through all the town there ran The servants of Your enemy, A woman and a man, Unless the Holy Writings lie, Hurried through the smooth and rough And through the fertile and waste, protecting, till the danger past, With human love.

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