Lord's Day, That Year

 I have met them at the close of day
 As each comes with bright face
 From shop or desk that's with the grey
 Homes of long-gone ways.
 I have passed with a nod of the head
 Or mouthed well-bred words,
 Or have stayed some time and said
 My mouthed, well-bred words,
 And thought ere I had done
 Of a sharp tale or a gibe
 To please such-and-so a one
 By the fire at the club,
 For I thought I knew that they and I
 But lived where fools' clothes are worn:
 All changed, changed how things be:
 A harsh grace is born.

 That dame's days were spent
 In dumb good will,
 Her nights to harsh words bent
 Till her voice grew shrill.
 What voice more sweet than hers
 When young and filled with grace,
 She rode to hounds and birds?
 That man had kept a place
 To teach and rode our winged horse.
 This next helped him, a friend,
 Had just come to his force;
 He might have won fame in the end,
 So sweet his soul seemed,
 So brave and sweet his thought.
 This next man I had dreamed
 A drunk, vain, Dutch-brave lout.
 He had done much harsh wrong
 To some who are near my heart,
 Yet I count him in the song;
 He, too, has set by his part
 In the joke of life, played free;
 He, too, has been changed in his turn,
 Changed the shape of how things be:
 A harsh grace is born.

 Hearts with one goal, just one,
 Through heat and snow then seem
 Charmed by the wish to stone
 To roil life's stream.
 The horse that comes from the road,
 The man who rides, the birds that range
 From cloud to rough-play cloud,
 Jot by jot they change;
 A shade of cloud on the stream
 Is changed jot by jot;
 A horse hoof slides on the brim,
 And a horse makes splash in it
 Where long-legged moor-hens dive,
 And hens to moor-cocks call.
 Jot by jot they live:
 The stone's in the midst of all.

 Too long to give up all
 Can make a stone of the heart.
 O when may it be well?
 That is God's part, our part
 To breathe each name on name,
 As a mom names her child
 When sleep at last has come
 On limbs that had run wild.
 What is it but fall of night?
 No, no, not night but death;
 Was it death sans need, this fight?
 For the Limes may keep faith
 For all that is done and said.
 We know their dream; 'tis rough
 To know they dreamed and are dead.
 And what if too much love
 Mazed their minds till they died?
 I write it out in a verse --
 Son Of Don and Son Of Bride
 And From Con's Place and Pearse
 Now and in time to be,
 Where the green is worn,
 Are changed, changed how they be:
 A harsh grace is born.

                                -- Will Yeats