By W. B. Yeats

ISBN-10: 0203995066

ISBN-13: 9780203995068

ISBN-10: 0415289823

ISBN-13: 9780415289825

In 1895 the thirty-year-old W.B. Yeats, already validated as one among Ireland's prime poets and folklorists, released this remarkable choice of Irish verse as a part of his crusade to set up a practice of Irish poetry healthy for the sunrise of a brand new age in Ireland's historical past. This Routledge Classics version, whole with a especially commissioned creation by means of acclaimed author and critic John Banville, is key interpreting for all who take pleasure in solid literature.

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Example text

Dark rosaleen My life of life, my saint of saints, My Dark Rosaleen! My own Rosaleen! To hear your sweet and sad complaints, My life, my love, my saint of saints, My Dark Rosaleen! Woe and pain, pain and woe, Are my lot night and noon; To see your bright face clouded so, Like to the mournful moon. But yet will I rear your throne Again in golden sheen: ’Tis you shall reign, shall reign alone, My Dark Rosaleen! My own Rosaleen! ’Tis you shall have the golden throne, ’Tis you shall reign, and reign alone, My Dark Rosaleen!

Such walls surround her That no nine-pounder Could dare to plunder Her place of strength; But Oliver Cromwell Her he did pommell, And made a breach In her battlement. There’s gravel walks there For speculation And conversation In sweet solitude. ’Tis there the lover May hear the dove, or The gentle plover In the afternoon; And if a lady Would be so engaging 5 6 richard alfred milliken As to walk alone in Those shady bowers, ’Tis there the courtier He may transport her Into some fort, or All under ground.

Ah, woe is me! Already we bewail in vain Their fatal fall! And Erin, once the Great and Free, Now vainly mourns her breakless chain, And iron thrall! Then, daughter of O’Donnell! dry Thine overflowing eyes, and turn Thy heart aside; For Adam’s race is born to die, And sternly the sepulchral urn Mocks human pride! Look not, nor sigh, for earthly throne, Nor place thy trust in arm of clay— But on thy knees Uplift thy soul to God alone, For all things go their destined way As He decrees. Embrace the faithful Crucifix, And seek the path of pain and prayer Thy Saviour trod!

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A Book of Irish Verse by W. B. Yeats

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