William Butler Yeats

The Old Stone Cross

A statesman is an easy man, He tells his lies by rote; A journalist makes up his lies And takes you by the throat; So stay at home' and drink your beer And let the neighbours' vote, Said the man in the golden breastplate Under the old stone Cross. Because this age and the next age Engender in the ditch, No man can know a happy man From any passing wretch; If Folly link with Elegance No man knows which is which, Said the man in the golden breastplate Under the old stone Cross. But actors lacking music Do most excite my spleen, They say it is more human To shuffle, grunt and groan, Not knowing what unearthly stuff Rounds a mighty scene, Said the man in the golden breastplate Under the old stone Cross.