Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TO THE ROSE UPON THE ROOD OF TIME, by WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS



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TO THE ROSE UPON THE ROOD OF TIME, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Red rose, proud rose, sad rose of all my days!
Last Line: Red rose, proud rose, sad rose of all my days.
Alternate Author Name(s): Yeats, W. B.
Subject(s): Flowers; Ireland; Legends, Irish; Roses; Irish


Red Rose, proud Rose, sad Rose of all my days!
Come near me, while I sing the ancient ways:
Cuchulain battling with the bitter tide;
The Druid, gray, wood-nurtured, quiet-eyed,
Who cast round Fergus dreams, and ruin untold;
And thine own sadness, whereof stars, grown old
In dancing silver sandalled on the sea,
Sing in their high and lonely melody.
Come near, that no more blinded by man's fate,
I find under the boughs of love and hate,
In all poor foolish things that live a day,
Eternal beauty wandering on her way.

Come near, come near, come near -- Ah, leave me still
A little space for the rose-breath to fill!
Lest I no more hear common things that crave;
The weak worm hiding down in its small cave,
The field mouse running by me in the grass,
And heavy mortal hopes that toil and pass;
But seek alone to hear the strange things said
By God to the bright hearts of those long dead,
And learn to chant a tongue men do not know.
Come near; I would, before my time to go,
Song of old Eire and the ancient ways:
Red Rose, proud Rose, sad Rose of all my days.





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