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Poem Title:  A Bronze Head

Poem Category:  General Poems

Poet:  William Butler Yeats

Poet Biography: 
William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) was a poet whose influences include The Occult, symbolism and Irish political independance



Poem: 
Here at right of the entrance this bronze head,
human, superhuman, a bird's round eye,
everything else withered and mummy-dead.
What great tomb-haunter sweeps the distant sky
(Something may linger there though all else die)
and finds there nothing to make its terror less
hysterica passio of its own emptiness?

No dark tomb-haunter once; her form all full
as though with magnanimity of light,
yet a most gentle woman; who can tell
which of her forms has shown her substance right?
Or maybe substance can be composite,
profound McTaggart thought so, and in a breath
a mouthful held the extreme of life and death.

But even at the starting-post, all sleek and new,
I saw the wildness in her and I thought
a vision of terror that it must live through
had shattered her soul. Propinquity had brought
imagination to that pitch where it casts out
all that is not itself: I had grown wild
and wandered murmuring everywhere, "My child, my
child! '

Or else I thought her supernatural;
As though a sterner eye looked through her eye
on this foul world in its decline and fall;
On gangling stocks grown great, great stocks run dry,
ancestral pearls all pitched into a sty,
heroic reverie mocked by clown and knave,
and wondered what was left for massacre to save.


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