The Wild Swans at Coole
Another Poem by William Butler Yeats
- 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
- 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
- And scatter wheeling in great broken rings
- Upon their clamorous wings.
- I have looked upon those brilliant creatures,
- And now my heart is sore.
- All's changed since I, hearing at twilight,
- 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,
- 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
- Mysterious, beautiful;
- Among what rushes will they build,
- By what lake's edge or pool
- Delight men's eyes, when I awake some day
- To find they have flown away?
Published December 11, 1996