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

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

33. His Dream

I SWAYED upon the gaudy stern 
The butt end of a steering oar, 
And everywhere that I could turn 
Men ran upon the shore. 
And though I would have hushed the crowd,         5
There was no mother’s son but said, 
‘What is the figure in a shroud 
Upon a gaudy bed?’ 
And fishes bubbling to the brim 
Cried out upon that thing beneath,  10
—It had such dignity of limb,— 
By the sweet name of Death. 
Though I’d my finger on my lip, 
What could I but take up the song? 
And fish and crowd and gaudy ship  15
Cried out the whole night long, 
Crying amid the glittering sea, 
Naming it with ecstatic breath, 
Because it had such dignity 
By the sweet name of Death.  20



Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2015 · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors · World Lit.