Verse > W.B. Yeats > The Wind Among the Reeds

W.B. Yeats (1865–1939).  The Wind Among the Reeds.  1899.

17. Michael Robartes remembers forgotten Beauty

WHEN my arms wrap you round I press 
My heart upon the loveliness 
That has long faded from the world; 
The jewelled crowns that kings have hurled 
In shadowy pools, when armies fled;         5
The love-tales wove with silken thread 
By dreaming ladies upon cloth 
That has made fat the murderous moth; 
The roses that of old time were 
Woven by ladies in their hair,  10
The dew-cold lilies ladies bore 
Through many a sacred corridor 
Where such gray clouds of incense rose 
That only the gods’ eyes did not close: 
For that pale breast and lingering hand  15
Come from a more dream-heavy land, 
A more dream-heavy hour than this; 
And when you sigh from kiss to kiss 
I hear white Beauty sighing, too, 
For hours when all must fade like dew  20
But flame on flame, deep under deep, 
Throne over throne, where in half sleep 
Their swords upon their iron knees 
Brood her high lonely mysteries. 



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