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A Bronze Head Analysis

Author: poem of William Butler Yeats Type: poem Views: 20

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Here at right of the entrance this bronze head,

Human, superhuman, a bird's round eye,

Everything else withered and mummy-dead.

What great tomb-haunter sweeps the distant sky

(Something may linger there though all else die;)

And finds there nothing to make its tetror less

Hysterica passio of its own emptiness?

No dark tomb-haunter once; her form all full

As though with magnanimity of light,

Yet a most gentle woman; who can tell

Which of her forms has shown her substance right?

Or maybe substance can be composite,

profound McTaggart thought so, and in a breath

A mouthful held the extreme of life and death.

But even at the starting-post, all sleek and new,

I saw the wildness in her and I thought

A vision of terror that it must live through

Had shattered her soul.  Propinquity had brought

Imagiation to that pitch where it casts out

All that is not itself:  I had grown wild

And wandered murmuring everywhere, 'My child, my


Or else I thought her supernatural;

As though a sterner eye looked through her eye

On this foul world in its decline and fall;

On gangling stocks grown great, great stocks run dry,

Ancestral pearls all pitched into a sty,

Heroic reverie mocked by clown and knave,

And wondered what was left for massacre to save.


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