To Keep Will Yeats In Mind


 He left us in the dead time of year:
 The brooks were ice, the ports were all but dead,
 And snow made our carved men lose their shapes;
 The glass bulbs sank in the mouth of the end of day.
 O all the means we have to mark it say
 The day of his death was a cold dark day.

 Far from where he lay ill
 The wolves ran on through the fir woods,
 The serf stream was not lured by the quays then in style;
 By tongues that mourn
 The death of the man was kept from his work.

 But for him it was his last day in his self,
 An eve of the nurse and wild news;
 The states of his corpse left his rule,
 The squares of his mind held no one,
 A still hush took up the edge of town,
 The flow of what he felt failed; he turned to those who like him.

 Now he is strewn in some five score towns
 And all took up by loves he did not know;
 To find his joy in one more wood
 And be paid for it by a new code of what's thought right.
 The words of a dead man
 Are changed in the guts of those who live.

 But in the pomp and noise of the next day
 When those who trade roar like beasts on the floor of the Bourse,
 And the poor have all the aches they're used to,
 And each in cell of his self can all but think he's free,
 A few score of scores will think of this day
 As one thinks of a day when one did a thing not quite the norm.

 O all the means we have to mark it say
 The day of his death was a cold dark day.


 You were a fool like us; your gift lived through it all:
 The church wards of rich dames, the loss of health,
 You; the mad Green Isle hurt you to your verse.
 Now the Green Isle has her mad thoughts and is rained on still,
 For verse won't make things come to pass: they live
 In the vales where they were said, where sharp men
 Would not want to mess with, it flows south
 From the range of just one's self and much worked griefs,
 Raw towns that we have faith and die in; it lives on,
 A way to come to pass, a mouth.


 Earth, please take this famed new guest:
 Will B. Yeats is laid to rest.
 Let the Green Isle's great cup lie
 All verse poured out by-and-by.

 Time, that will not take the part
 Of the brave and pure of heart,
 And in a week gives no more nods
 To a hard and well-formed bod,

 Treats fine words as gods and gives
 Grace to those who make them live;
 Lets by wimps, the vain, the cheats,
 Lays its bright wreaths at their feet.

 Time that with this strange life use
 Let by Red Kip and his views,
 And will let by Paul as well,
 Lets him 'cause he wrote real well.

 In the bad dream of the dark
 All the Old World dogs do bark,
 And the states that still live wait,
 Each one set off in its hate;

 Ill-wrought thoughts that wreck our grace
 Stare out now from each man's face,
 And the seas of rue do lie
 Locked and iced up in each eye.

 Go on, verse man, go on right
 To the low point of the night,
 Break our bonds with your free voice,
 Teach us to sing out our joys;

 With a sown field of a verse
 Make a grape farm of the curse,
 Sing of how a man can't win
 In your joy at life's hard strain;

 In the dry lands of the heart
 Let the spring that heals now start,
 In the jail cell of his days
 Teach the free man how to praise.

                                -- W. H. A.