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    William Butler Yeats - Solomon And The Witch - Dylan Thomas

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    poetictouch

    by poetictouch

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    Dylan Thomas reads W. B. Yeats's Solomon And The Witch

    Solomon And The Witch
    by William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

    And thus declared that Arab lady:
    'Last night, where under the wild moon
    On grassy mattress I had laid me,
    Within my arms great Solomon,
    I suddenly cried out in a strange tongue
    Not his, not mine.'
    Who understood
    Whatever has been said, sighed, sung,
    Howled, miau-d, barked, brayed, belled, yelled, cried, crowed,
    Thereon replied: 'A cockerel
    Crew from a blossoming apple bough
    Three hundred years before the Fall,
    And never crew again till now,
    And would not now but that he thought,
    Chance being at one with Choice at last,
    All that the brigand apple brought
    And this foul world were dead at last.
    He that crowed out eternity
    Thought to have crowed it in again.
    For though love has a spider's eye
    To find out some appropriate pain -
    Aye, though all passion's in the glance -
    For every nerve, and tests a lover
    With cruelties of Choice and Chance;
    And when at last that murder's over
    Maybe the bride-bed brings despair,
    For each an imagined image brings
    And finds a real image there;
    Yet the world ends when these two things,
    Though several, are a single light,
    When oil and wick are burned in one;
    Therefore a blessed moon last night
    Gave Sheba to her Solomon.'

    'Yet the world stays.'
    'If that be so,
    Your cockerel found us in the wrong
    Although he thought it worth a crow.
    Maybe an image is too strong
    Or maybe is not strong enough.'

    'The night has fallen; not a sound
    In the forbidden sacred grove
    Unless a petal hit the ground,
    Nor any human sight within it
    But the crushed grass where we have lain!
    And the moon is wilder every minute.
    O! Solomon! let us try again.'