William Butler Yeats

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

Three Things Poem by William Butler Yeats


`O cruel Death, give three things back,'
Sang a bone upon the shore;
`A child found all a child can lack,
Whether of pleasure or of rest,
Upon the abundance of my breast':
A bone wave-whitened and dried in the wind.

`Three dear things that women know,'
Sang a bhone upon the shore;
`A man if I but held him so
When my body was alive
Found all the pleasure that life gave':
A bone wave-whitened and dried in the wind.

`The third thing that I think of yet,'
Sang a bone upon the shore,
`Is that morning when I met
Face to face my rightful man
And did after stretch and yawn':
A bone wave-whitened and dried in the wind.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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