Drie gedichten van William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

Op 28 januari van dit jaar was het alweer zeventig jaar geleden dat de Ierse dichter en essayist, toneelschrijver en mysticus William Butler Yeats — in 1923 onderscheiden met de Nobelprijs voor Literatuur — is overleden. Hier nu eerst eens drie van de gedichten die hij rond 1900 heeft geschreven en daarna gebundeld. […]

A POET TO HIS BELOVED

I BRING you with reverent hands
The books of my numberless dreams,
White woman that passion has worn
As the tide wears the dove-grey sands,
And with heart more old than the horn
That is brimmed from the pale fire of time:
White woman with numberless dreams,
I bring you my passionate rhyme.

Uit: The wind among the reeds (1899)

*  *  *  *  *

IN THE SEVEN WOODS

I HAVE heard the pigeons of the Seven Woods
Make their faint thunder, and the garden bees
Hum in the lime-tree flowers; and put away
The unvailing outcries and the old bitterness
That empty the heart. I have forgot awhile
Tara uprooted, and new commonness
Upon the throne and crying about the streets
And hanging its paper flowers from post to post,
Because it is alone  of all things happy.
I am contented, for I know the Quiet
Wanders laughing and eating her wild heart
Among pigeons and bees, while the Great Archer,
Who but awaits His hour to shoot, still hangs
A cloudy quiver over Pairc-na-lee

August 1902

Uit: In the Seven Woods (1904)

*  *  *  *  *

NEVER GIVE ALL THE HEART

NEVER give all the heart, for love
Will hardly seem worth thinking of
To passionate women if it seem
Certain, and they never dream
That it fades out from a kiss;
For everything that’s lovely is
But a brief, dreamy, kind delight.
O never give the heart outright,
For they, for all smooth lips can say,
Have given their hearts up to the play.
And who could play it well enough
If deaf and dumb and blind with love?
He that made this knows all the cost,
For he gave all his heart and lost.

Uit: In the Seven Woods (1904)

WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS (13-06-1865 — 28-01-1939)

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Foto: William Butler Yeats in 1908.

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