A Vision by W. B. Yeats (auth.)

By W. B. Yeats (auth.)

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And then as though he had suddenly thought of something, 'I will not say a word to the police on the condition that you and this young man and this young woman meet a friend of mine and drink a little wtne. • I II A VISION 37 II Presently Aherne came in with a big old man. Aherne, now that I saw him in a good light, was stout and sedentary-looking, bearded and dull of eye, but this other was lank, brown, muscular, dean-shaven, with an alert, ironical eye. "This is Michael Robartes", said Aherne, and took a plate of sandwiches, glasses and a bottle of champagne out of a cupboard and laid them upon a small table, and found chairs for himself and Robartes.

A VISION AHERNE Sing out the song; sing to the end, and sing The strange reward of all that discipline. ROBARTES All thought becomes an image and the soul Becomes a body: that body and that soul Too perfect at the full to lie in a cradle, Too lonely for the traffic of ~he world: Body and soul cast out and cast away Beyond the visible world. AHERNE All dreams of the soul End in a beautiful man's or woman's body. ROBARTES Have you not always known it? AHERNE The song will have it That those that we have loved got their long fingers From death, and wounds, or on Sinai's top, Or from some bloody whip in their own hands.

ROBARTES Twenty-and-eight the phases of the moon, The full and the moon's dark and all the crescents, Twenty-and-eight, and yet but six-and-twenty The cradles that a man must needs be rocked in; For there's no human life at the full or the dark. From the first crescent to the half, the dream But summons to adventure, and the man Is always happy like a bird or a beast; But while the moon is rounding towards the full He follows whatever whim's most difficult Among whims not impossible, and though scarred, As with the cat-o' -nine-tails of the mind, His body moulded from within his body Grows comelier.

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