William Butler Yeats

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

Long-Legged Fly - Poem by William Butler Yeats

THAT civilisation may not sink,
Its great battle lost,
Quiet the dog, tether the pony
To a distant post;
Our master Caesar is in the tent
Where the maps are spread,
His eyes fixed upon nothing,
A hand under his head.
Like a long-legged fly upon the stream
His mind moves upon silence.

That the topless towers be burnt
And men recall that face,
Move most gently if move you must
In this lonely place.
She thinks, part woman, three parts a child,
That nobody looks; her feet
Practise a tinker shuffle
Picked up on a street.
Like a long-legged fly upon the stream
Her mind moves upon silence.

That girls at puberty may find
The first Adam in their thought,
Shut the door of the Pope's chapel,
Keep those children out.
There on that scaffolding reclines
Michael Angelo.
With no more sound than the mice make
His hand moves to and fro.
Like a long-legged fly upon the stream
His mind moves upon silence.

Topic(s) of this poem: poem

Comments about Long-Legged Fly by William Butler Yeats

  • Doug BentleyDoug Bentley (11/15/2017 5:01:00 AM)

    A long-legged fly is a master glider. It travels effortlessly on the power of any medium. (Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
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  • Anita Dolas (2/1/2010 3:35:00 AM)

    I want the poem named Lada and Swan with Mythology Themes (Report)Reply

    HughPawsey(8/29/2019 6:04:00 PM)

    The poem 'Leda and the Swan' can be found on the net at poets.org/poem/leda-and-swan. Nine years is a long time to wait for a poem: but it may still be worth it.

    1 person liked.
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Read poems about / on: silence, dog, lonely, woman, children, child, lost, women, girl

Poem Submitted: Tuesday, May 15, 2001

Poem Edited: Monday, November 3, 2014

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