Amazingly, I didn’t really study any of Yeats’ poetry until I was at University. And then I feel like I spent an entire term studying him! Particularly irksome was the Yeats’ classes were scheduled on a Friday morning at 9am when everyone knew that there shouldn’t be any classes on Fridays, especially if you were studying English and 9am was unheard of for most undergraduates. And those who wanted to be on the train to see your boyfriend or go out on a Thursday night – classic student night. Think my lecturer took delight in the timings although probably not the state of the students in his class. I’m pretty sure we studied ‘The Tower’ that term although sadly my complete works, complete with scrawled notes, is at my mum’s house so I can’t check. And that poem is rather long. I also remember this poem too, hence including it today. I really think I might need a run of cheerful poems too after this!
The Sorrow of Love
The quarrel of the sparrows in the eaves,
The full round moon and the star-laden sky,
And the loud song of the ever-singing leaves,
Had hid away earth’s old and weary cry.
And then you came with those red mournful lips,
And with you came the whole of the world’s tears,
And all the sorrows of her labouring ships,
And all the burden of her myriad years.
And now the sparrows warring in the eaves,
The curd-pale moon, the white stars in the sky,
And the loud chaunting of the unquiet leaves
Are shaken with earth’s old and weary cry.
1893, The Rose.