A Month with Yeats: Day Sixteen

As promised, today’s quote has been bumped up the list to correspond with the poem I wrote yesterdayโ€”one of the perks of running the challenge. We often see deer at the bottom near the stream or along the hedge to the west, but yesterday, a young male deer trotted right under the window of the study. I felt honoured. They are timid, keep well away from houses and usually bolt at the slightest sound or movement. He must have felt he had nothing to fear from us.

I’m linking this to the dverse open link night because I like it.


From ‘He Mourns for the Change That Has Come Upon Him and Longs for the End of the World’

‘Do you not hear me calling, white deer with no horns?’โ€”W.B. Yeats


The deer in the meadow


In the mists of early morning,

The frost lay on the ground,

And the songbirds in the garden

Flew by without a sound.


As I watched the mist light swirling

On the meadow, frosty pale,

A deer, horns newly budded,

Stepped through the broken veil.


He stepped across the meadow,

His ears he turned to hear,

If the sound of my sighing,

Was a sound that he should fear.


He stepped up to my window,

With eyes so wild and deep,

As the sea that covers your bed,

Leaving me alone to weep.


Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

89 thoughts on “A Month with Yeats: Day Sixteen”

      1. I wish I could have said the same about my old country.
        My poem is ready in my head based on your hint yesterday. Now I have to fine tune it to capture the mood of the quote. A storm is raging outside. If the rain continues then no morning walk and I may not have to wait till lunch time to write.

      2. But a walk on the rain dampened it. Could not delay taking out my four legged buddy for his morning rituals as the alternative would have been cleaning up his odoriferous mess. Unfortunately he did take his time sniffing in the rain๐Ÿ˜ญ

      3. Dog walking (I’m assuming it’s a dog and not a giraffe or wolverine or anything) in the rain is never pleasant. I’m lucky in having a dog who hates getting wet as much as I do.

      4. My dog Skooby, unless it is an accident ( though my wife will like to think that it is his way of punishing us for leaving him alone)will never go in the house or our yard.

      5. Skooby does not like water, he runs away from a bath. Never tried to get into the pool, but he does not mind the California rain ( it’s actually a drizzle compared to the monsoon that I grew up with).

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  2. A Monckjac deer ran across our front lawn last year and last month I saw a huge Stag Roe deer run across the field while I was walking the dog. Sadly so many houses have been built where the deer have had their runs for centuries. So sad.

  3. I specially love the ending stanza Jane ~ How lovely to see that deer with wild eyes, as if understanding our pain and loneliness ~ Beautiful poem ~

  4. For some reason, I only see the deer in the early morning at the moment. They weave in an out of the shadows in the garden. But I’ve had some handsome pheasants hiding out in our slowly denuding garden. I love the rhyme and rhythm of this poem, Jane, it’s so lyrical and magical.

    1. Thanks Kim. It’s the Yeatsian spirit coming through ๐Ÿ™‚ The deer seem to wander in at all times of the day and I even surprised one late at night. The pheasants I suspect are the survivors of an organised shoot from a month ago.

      1. I didn’t see the mother. We live on a corner, and the house across the street was also a corner house. The baby deer was around the corner from where I stood, and I don’t think it knew I was there at first. Then it bleated from where it was. After a bit, it walked over slowly in my direction, still bleating a bit, and then I think it noticed me and went running off down the street. I’m sure the mother was not far. My husband has seen them leap the 6-ft. high fence.

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