William Butler Yeats

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

The Man And The Echo


Man

IN a cleft that's christened Alt
Under broken stone I halt
At the bottom of a pit
That broad noon has never lit,
And shout a secret to the stone.
All that I have said and done,
Now that I am old and ill,
Turns into a question till
I lie awake night after night
And never get the answers right.
Did that play of mine send out
Certain men the English shot?
Did words of mine put too great strain
On that woman's reeling brain?
Could my spoken words have checked
That whereby a house lay wrecked?
And all seems evil until I
Sleepless would lie down and die.

Echo

Lie down and die.

Man

That were to shirk
The spiritual intellect's great work,
And shirk it in vain. There is no release
In a bodkin or disease,
Nor can there be work so great
As that which cleans man's dirty slate.
While man can still his body keep
Wine or love drug him to sleep,
Waking he thanks the Lord that he
Has body and its stupidity,
But body gone he sleeps no more,
And till his intellect grows sure
That all's arranged in one clear view,
pursues the thoughts that I pursue,
Then stands in judgment on his soul,
And, all work done, dismisses all
Out of intellect and sight
And sinks at last into the night.

Echo
Into the night.

Man

O Rocky Voice,
Shall we in that great night rejoice?
What do we know but that we face
One another in this place?
But hush, for I have lost the theme,
Its joy or night-seem but a dream;
Up there some hawk or owl has struck,
Dropping out of sky or rock,
A stricken rabbit is crying out,
And its cry distracts my thought.

Submitted: Thursday, May 17, 2001
Edited: Thursday, May 17, 2001

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

What do you think this poem is about?



Read poems about / on: work, thanks, evil, night, woman, house, sleep, dream, joy, lost, sky, women

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (The Man And The Echo by William Butler Yeats )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

New Poems

  1. Blessings In Disguise, Ron Baratono
  2. Laws of Love!, SALINI NAIR
  3. The unfinished Haiku, felix lama
  4. ये ख़ामोशी के अफ़साने, Jaideep Joshi
  5. ये ख़ामोशी के अफ़साने, Jaideep Joshi
  6. Red, cadance cunningham
  7. In Emily Dickinson's Poetry, Steve Lang
  8. Shall we dance?, kolawole ogunfowokan
  9. Squirrel, gajanan mishra
  10. Democrats, Aftab Alam

Poem of the Day

poet Charles Stuart Calverley

He stood, a worn-out City clerk —
Who'd toil'd, and seen no holiday,
For forty years from dawn to dark —
Alone beside Caermarthen Bay.
...... Read complete »

   

Trending Poems

  1. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  2. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  3. Limbo, Seamus Heaney
  4. If, Rudyard Kipling
  5. Peace. A Study, Charles Stuart Calverley
  6. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  7. Television, Roald Dahl
  8. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
  9. All the World's a Stage, William Shakespeare
  10. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]