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Her Vision In The Wood Analysis

Author: poem of William Butler Yeats Type: poem Views: 33

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Dry timber under that rich foliage,

At wine-dark midnight in the sacred wood,

Too old for a man's love I stood in rage

Imagining men.  Imagining that I could

A greater with a lesser pang assuage

Or but to find if withered vein ran blood,

I tore my body that its wine might cover

Whatever could rccall the lip of lover.

And after that I held my fingers up,

Stared at the wine-dark nail, or dark that ran

Down every withered finger from the top;

But the dark changed to red, and torches shone,

And deafening music shook the leaves; a troop

Shouldered a litter with a wounded man,

Or smote upon the string and to the sound

Sang of the beast that gave the fatal wound.

All stately women moving to a song

With loosened hair or foreheads grief-distraught,

It seemed a Quattrocento painter's throng,

A thoughtless image of Mantegna's thought --

Why should they think that are for ever young?

Till suddenly in grief's contagion caught,

I stared upon his blood-bedabbled breast

And sang my malediction with the rest.

That thing all blood and mire, that beast-torn wreck,

Half turned and fixed a glazing eye on mine,

And, though love's bitter-sweet had all come back,

Those bodies from a picture or a coin

Nor saw my body fall nor heard it shriek,

Nor knew, drunken with singing as with wine,

That they had brought no fabulous symbol there

But my heart's victim and its torturer.


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