A Month with Yeats: Day Nineteen

Today’s quote is a second one from ‘The Valley of the Black Pig’.


‘We who still labour by the cromlech on the shore,

The grey cairn on the hill, when day sinks drowned in dew,

Being weary of the world’s empires, bow down to you,

Master of the still stars and of the flaming door.’—W.B. Yeats


Turning Back the Black Tide


We have followed those who brandished weapons high,

A sword, a cross, a curse, a death dark threat,

And waded through their rising blood red tide,

And holy peace has never fallen yet.

We have watched them build their monuments to death,

And wept at banners spread in poppy rain,

Our stones and trees abandoned on the hill,

Among the ashes of our stories wild, profane.

Perhaps when sunset’s light begins to fade,

On the crumbling ruins of cold glory lost,

We will seek the quiet path our elders trod,

And light a fire in this creeping frost.


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.

36 thoughts on “A Month with Yeats: Day Nineteen”

    1. I don’t think Yeats’s vision of harking back to a past that ‘had got it right’ is possible. Too much we won’t let go of in the material sense. Whether we’ll junk the calls to war and conflict from all our so-called leaders, maybe. I hope so.

    1. There’s nothing to learn. It’s all part of our system of belief—we are right, they are wrong and we have to wipe them out, even if there’s a bit of collateral damage on our side.

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