November Yeats 19

‘We who still labour by the cromlech on the shore,

The grey cairn on the hill, when day sinks drowned in dew,

Being weary of the world’s empires, bow down to you,

Master of the still stars and of the flaming door.’—W.B. Yeats
I am of the ones who have laboured here,
Who have carried the stones with their hands,
Stones grey as the sky, grey as the sea,
Brought to this place, where they stand
Looking out to the west.

We are those who carried them here,
In the cold, when the skin of our fingers split,
In the heat, when our hands slipped with sweat,
To this place, this gorse clouded summit,
Looking out to the west

And we did it for love of the one
Who rides the grey sea, as he might ride
A grey horse, or a goose might spread
Broad wings to travel the great grey skies,
Looking out to the west.

In our love, we have built this place,
As a beacon, a hearth, as a tomb, as a door
Waiting for sight of him who is gone,
Hoping in vain, for he comes no more,
Looking out to the west.

One by one, we have left this high place,
Going down to where our own fires burn,
Or down to the dark, deep places,
Through the doorway from whence none returns,
Looking out to the west.

And now there is nobody left but me,
The first to come and the last to stay,
Faithful to the force that moved me then,
Waiting for time to wear me away,
Looking out to the west.

 

Welcome to Day 19 of the Yeats November series, prompted by Jane Dougherty. 

3 thoughts on “November Yeats 19

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