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Poem Title:  The Madness Of King Goll

Poem Category:  General Poems

Poet:  William Butler Yeats

Poet Biography: 
William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) was a poet whose influences include The Occult, symbolism and Irish political independance



Poem: 
I sat on cushioned otter-skin:
my word was law from Ith to Emain,
and shook at Inver Amergin
the hearts of the world-troubling seamen,
and drove tumult and war away
from girl and boy and man and beast;
the fields grew fatter day by day,
the wild fowl of the air increased;
and every ancient Ollave said,
while he bent down his fading head.
"he drives away the Northern cold.'
They will not hush, the leaves a-flutter round me, the beech leaves old.
I sat and mused and drank sweet wine;
a herdsman came from inland valleys,
crying, the pirates drove his swine
to fill their dark-beaked hollow galleys.
I called my battle-breaking men
and my loud brazen battle-cars
from rolling vale and rivery glen;
and under the blinking of the stars
fell on the pirates by the deep,
and hurled them in the gulph of sleep:
these hands won many a torque of gold.
they will not hush, the leaves a-flutter round me, the beech leaves old.
but slowly, as I shouting slew
and trampled in the bubbling mire,
in my most secret spirit grew
a whirling and a wandering fire:
i stood: keen stars above me shone,
around me shone keen eyes of men:
I laughed aloud and hurried on
by rocky shore and rushy fen;
I laughed because birds fluttered by,
and starlight gleamed, and clouds flew high,
and rushes waved and waters rolled.
They will not hush, the leaves a-flutter round me, the beech leaves old.
And now I wander in the woods
when summer gluts the golden bees,
or in autumnal solitudes
arise the leopard-coloured trees;
or when along the wintry strands
the cormorants shiver on their rocks;
I wander on, and wave my hands,
and sing, and shake my heavy locks.
The grey wolf knows me; by one ear
I lead along the woodland deer;
the hares run by me growing bold.
They will not hush, the leaves a-flutter round me, the beech leaves old.
I came upon a little town
that slumbered in the harvest moon,
and passed a-tiptoe up and down,
murmuring, to a fitful tune,
how I have followed, night and day,
a tramping of tremendous feet,
and saw where this old tympan lay
deserted on a doorway seat,
and bore it to the woods with me;
of some inhuman misery
our married voices wildly trolled.
they will not hush, the leaves a-flutter round me, the beech leaves old.
I sang how, when day's toil is done,
orchil shakes out her long dark hair
that hides away the dying sun
and sheds faint odours through the air:
when my hand passed from wire to wire
it quenched, with sound like falling dew
the whirling and the wandering fire;
but lift a mournful ulalu,
for the kind wires are torn and still,
and I must wander wood and hill
through summer's heat and winter's cold.
they will not hush, the leaves a-flutter round me, the beech leaves old.


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