William Butler Yeats

(13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939 / County Dublin / Ireland)

King And No King


WOULD it were anything but merely voice!'
The No King cried who after that was King,
Because he had not heard of anything
That balanced with a word is more than noise;
Yet Old Romance being kind, let him prevail
Somewhere or somehow that I have forgot,
Though he'd but cannon -- Whereas we that had thought
To have lit upon as clean and sweet a tale
Have been defeated by that pledge you gave
In momentary anger long ago;
And I that have not your faith, how shall I know
That in the blinding light beyond the grave
We'll find so good a thing as that we have lost?
The hourly kindness, the day's common speech.
The habitual content of each with each
Men neither soul nor body has been crossed.

Submitted: Tuesday, May 15, 2001

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