W.B. Yeats (1865Ė1939).  The Wild Swans at Coole.  1919.

1. The Wild Swans at Coole



THE TREES are in their autumn beauty,  
The woodland paths are dry,  
Under the October twilight the water  
Mirrors a still sky;  
Upon the brimming water among the stones          5
Are nine and fifty swans.  
The nineteenth Autumn has come upon me  
Since I first made my count;  
I saw, before I had well finished,  
All suddenly mount   10
And scatter wheeling in great broken rings  
Upon their clamorous wings.  
I have looked upon those brilliant creatures,  
And now my heart is sore.  
Allís changed since I, hearing at twilight,   15
The first time on this shore,  
The bell-beat of their wings above my head,  
Trod with a lighter tread.  
Unwearied still, lover by lover,  
They paddle in the cold,   20
Companionable streams or climb the air;  
Their hearts have not grown old;  
Passion or conquest, wander where they will,  
Attend upon them still.  
But now they drift on the still water   25
Mysterious, beautiful;  
Among what rushes will they build,  
By what lakeís edge or pool  
Delight menís eyes, when I awake some day  
To find they have flown away?   30