Verse > W.B. Yeats > Responsibilities and Other Poems
  PREVIOUS NEXT  
CONTENTS      BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD

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

5. September 1913


WHAT need you, being come to sense, 
But fumble in a greasy till 
And add the halfpence to the pence 
And prayer to shivering prayer, until 
You have dried the marrow from the bone;         5
For men were born to pray and save: 
Romantic Ireland’s dead and gone, 
It’s with O’Leary in the grave. 
  
Yet they were of a different kind 
The names that stilled your childish play,  10
They have gone about the world like wind, 
But little time had they to pray 
For whom the hangman’s rope was spun, 
And what, God help us, could they save: 
Romantic Ireland’s dead and gone,  15
It’s with O’Leary in the grave. 
  
Was it for this the wild geese spread 
The grey wing upon every tide; 
For this that all that blood was shed, 
For this Edward Fitzgerald died,  20
And Robert Emmet and Wolfe Tone, 
All that delirium of the brave; 
Romantic Ireland’s dead and gone, 
It’s with O’Leary in the grave. 
  
Yet could we turn the years again,  25
And call those exiles as they were, 
In all their loneliness and pain 
You’d cry ‘Some woman’s yellow hair 
Has maddened every mother’s son’: 
They weighed so lightly what they gave,  30
But let them be, they’re dead and gone, 
They’re with O’Leary in the grave. 


CONTENTS      BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD


  PREVIOUS NEXT  
 
Loading
Click here to shop the Bartleby Bookstore.

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2014 Bartleby.com · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors