Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Ragged Wood

by William Butler Yeats

O hurry where by water among the trees
The delicate-stepping stag and his lady sigh,
When they have but looked upon their images -
Would none had ever loved but you and I!

Or have you heard that sliding silver-shoed
Pale silver-proud queen-woman of the sky,
When the sun looked out of his golden hood? -
O that none ever loved but you and I!

O hurry to the ragged wood, for there
I will drive all those lovers out and cry -
O my share of the world, O yellow hair!
No one has ever loved but you and I.

* * *

I don't have time to say much about this poem. At first I thought it was rather selfish to wish that none had ever loved but the two of them. But the last stanza, when it says that no one has ever loved but them, shows something else. This is a poem for the times when the lovers can withdraw from the world and be only with each other. She is his "share of the world" -- the rest of the world is not necessary during these special times.

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