Verse > W.B. Yeats > Responsibilities and Other Poems

W.B. Yeats (1865–1939).  Responsibilities and Other Poems.  1916.

48. At the Abbey Theatre

(Imitated from Ronsard)

DEAR Craoibhin Aoibhin, look into our case. 
When we are high and airy hundreds say 
That if we hold that flight they’ll leave the place, 
While those same hundreds mock another day 
Because we have made our art of common things,         5
So bitterly, you’d dream they longed to look 
All their lives through into some drift of wings. 
You’ve dandled them and fed them from the book 
And know them to the bone; impart to us— 
We’ll keep the secret—a new trick to please.  10
Is there a bridle for this Proteus 
That turns and changes like his draughty seas? 
Or is there none, most popular of men, 
But when they mock us that we mock again? 



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