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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

William Butler Yeats 1865–1939

An Indian Song


O WANDERER in the southern weather,

Our isle awaits us; on each lea

The pea-hens dance; in crimson feather

A parrot swaying on a tree

Rages at his own image in the enamelled sea.

There dreamy Time lets fall his sickle

And Life the sandals of her fleetness,

And sleek young Joy is no more fickle,

And Love is kindly and deceitless,

And all is over save the murmur and the sweetness.

There we will moor our lonely ship

And wander ever with woven hands,

Murmuring softly, lip to lip,

Along the grass, along the sands—

Murmuring how far away are all earth’s feverish lands:

How we alone of mortals are

Hid in the earth’s most hidden part,

While grows our love an Indian star,

A meteor of the burning heart,

One with the waves that softly round us laugh and dart;

One with the leaves; one with the dove

That moans and sighs a hundred days;

How when we die our shades will rove,

Dropping at eve in coral bays

A vapory footfall on the ocean’s sleepy blaze.