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Man And The Echo Analysis

Author: poem of William Butler Yeats Type: poem Views: 19

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Man. In a cleft that's christened Alt

  Under broken stone I halt

  At the bottom of a pit

  That broad noon has never lit,

  And shout a secret to the stone.

  All that I have said and done,

  Now that I am old and ill,

  Turns into a question till

  I lie awake night after night

  And never get the answers right.

  Did that play of mine send out

  Certain men the English shot?

  Did words of mine put too great strain

  On that woman's reeling brain?

  Could my spoken words have checked

  That whereby a house lay wrecked?

  And all seems evil until I

  Sleepless would lie down and die.

Echo. Lie down and die.

Man.                             That were to shirk

  The spiritual intellect's great work,

  And shirk it in vain.  There is no release

  In a bodkin or disease,

  Nor can there be work so great

  As that which cleans man's dirty slate.

  While man can still his body keep

  Wine or love drug him to sleep,

  Waking he thanks the Lord that he

  Has body and its stupidity,

  But body gone he sleeps no more,

  And till his intellect grows sure

  That all's arranged in one clear view,

  pursues the thoughts that I pursue,

  Then stands in judgment on his soul,

  And, all work done, dismisses all

  Out of intellect and sight

  And sinks at last into the night.

Echo. Into the night.

Man.                     O Rocky Voice,

  Shall we in that great night rejoice?

  What do we know but that we face

  One another in this place?

  But hush, for I have lost the theme,

  Its joy or night-seem but a dream;

  Up there some hawk or owl has struck,

  Dropping out of sky or rock,

  A stricken rabbit is crying out,

  And its cry distracts my thought.


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