Verse > W.B. Yeats > The Wild Swans at Coole
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W.B. Yeats (1865–1939).  The Wild Swans at Coole.  1919.

13. Tom O’Roughley


‘THOUGH logic choppers rule the town, 
And every man and maid and boy 
Has marked a distant object down, 
An aimless joy is a pure joy,’ 
Or so did Tom O’Roughley say         5
That saw the surges running by, 
‘And wisdom is a butterfly 
And not a gloomy bird of prey. 
  
‘If little planned is little sinned 
But little need the grave distress.  10
What’s dying but a second wind? 
How but in zigzag wantonness 
Could trumpeter Michael be so brave?’ 
Or something of that sort he said, 
‘And if my dearest friend were dead  15
I’d dance a measure on his grave.’ 


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