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

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

30. The Dolls


A DOLL in the doll-maker’s house 
Looks at the cradle and balls: 
‘That is an insult to us.’ 
But the oldest of all the dolls 
Who had seen, being kept for show,         5
Generations of his sort, 
Out-screams the whole shelf: ‘Although 
There’s not a man can report 
Evil of this place, 
The man and the woman bring  10
Hither to our disgrace, 
A noisy and filthy thing.’ 
Hearing him groan and stretch 
The doll-maker’s wife is aware 
Her husband has heard the wretch,  15
And crouched by the arm of his chair, 
She murmurs into his ear, 
Head upon shoulder leant: 
‘My dear, my dear, oh dear, 
It was an accident.’  20



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