William Butler Yeats

The Happy Townland

There's many a strong farmer Whose heart would break in two, If he could see the townland That we are riding to; Boughs have their fruit and blossom At all times of the year; Rivers are running over With red beer and brown beer. An old man plays the bagpipes In a golden and silver wood; Queens, their eyes blue like the ice, Are dancing in a crowd. The little fox he murmured, 'O what of the world's bane?' The sun was laughing sweetly, The moon plucked at my rein; But the little red fox murmured, 'O do not pluck at his rein, He is riding to the townland That is the world's bane.' When their hearts are so high That they would come to blows, They unhook rheir heavy swords From golden and silver boughs; But all that are killed in battle Awaken to life again. It is lucky that their story Is not known among men, For O, the strong farmers That would let the spade lie, Their hearts would be like a cup That somebody had drunk dry. The little fox he murmured, 'O what of the world's bane?' The sun was laughing sweetly, The moon plucked at my rcin; But the little red fox murmured, 'O do not pluck at his rein, He is riding to the townland That is the world's bane.' Michael will unhook his trumpet From a bough overhead, And blow a little noise When the supper has been spread. Gabriel will come from the water With a fish-tail, and talk Of wonders that have happened On wet roads where men walk. And lift up an old horn Of hammered silver, and drink Till he has fallen asleep Upon the starry brink. The little fox he murmured, 'O what of the world's bane?' The sun was laughing sweetly, The moon plucked at my rein; But the little red fox murmured. 'O do not pluck at his rein, He is riding to the townland That is the world's bane.'