The Song of Wandering Aengus March 13, 2010Posted by Mark Folse in Poetry, Toulouse Street.
Tags: William Butler Yeats
Some things that endear themselves to you in your youth don’t hold up to well. If you don’t believe me, try looking up Bloodrock on You Tube. Other things just get better with every passing year, and as we enter what must be in New Orleans St. Patrick’s Week (because we must have a parade, and then go out again on the day itself), here’s one that only gets better every time I read it. Even if you’re happily married with beautiful and promising children and an entourage of real friends and sitting in a spot near enough to the top of the world that the taxes are killing you, if you are still not looking for that girl perhaps you’ve climbed the wrong mountain.
The Song of Wandering Aengus
by W. B. Yeats
I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.
When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire a-flame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And someone called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.
Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done,
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun