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

William Butler Yeats 1865–1939

The Song of the Old Mother


I RISE in the dawn, and I kneel and blow

Till the seed of the fire flicker and glow.

And then I must scrub, and bake, and sweep,

Till stars are beginning to blink and peep;

But the young lie long and dream in their bed

Of the matching of ribbons, the blue and the red,

And their day goes over in idleness,

And they sigh if the wind but lift up a tress;

While I must work, because I am old

And the seed of the fire gets feeble and cold.