The Secret Rose eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 79 pages of information about The Secret Rose.

W.B.  Yeats._


     Far off, most secret, and inviolate Rose,
     Enfold me in my hour of hours; where those
     Who sought thee at the Holy Sepulchre,
     Or in the wine-vat, dwell beyond the stir
     And tumult of defeated dreams; and deep
     Among pale eyelids heavy with the sleep
     Men have named beauty.  Your great leaves enfold
     The ancient beards, the helms of ruby and gold
     Of the crowned Magi; and the king whose eyes
     Saw the Pierced Hands and Rood of Elder rise
     In druid vapour and make the torches dim;
     Till vain frenzy awoke and he died; and him
     Who met Fand walking among flaming dew,
     By a grey shore where the wind never blew,
     And lost the world and Emir for a kiss;
     And him who drove the gods out of their liss
     And till a hundred morns had flowered red
     Feasted, and wept the barrows of his dead;
     And the proud dreaming king who flung the crown
     And sorrow away, and calling bard and clown
     Dwelt among wine-stained wanderers in deep woods;
     And him who sold tillage and house and goods,
     And sought through lands and islands numberless years
     Until he found with laughter and with tears
     A woman of so shining loveliness
     That men threshed corn at midnight by a tress,
     A little stolen tress.  I too await
     The hour of thy great wind of love and hate. 
     When shall the stars be blown about the sky,
     Like the sparks blown out of a smithy, and die? 
     Surely thine hour has come, thy great wind blows,
     Far off, most secret, and inviolate Rose?


A man, with thin brown hair and a pale face, half ran, half walked, along the road that wound from the south to the town of Sligo.  Many called him Cumhal, the son of Cormac, and many called him the Swift, Wild Horse; and he was a gleeman, and he wore a short parti-coloured doublet, and had pointed shoes, and a bulging wallet.  Also he was of the blood of the Ernaans, and his birth-place was the Field of Gold; but his eating and sleeping places where the four provinces of Eri, and his abiding place was not upon the ridge of the earth.  His eyes strayed from the Abbey tower of the White Friars and the town battlements to a row of crosses which stood out against the sky upon a hill a little to the eastward of the town, and he clenched his fist, and shook it at the crosses.  He knew they were not empty, for the birds were fluttering about them; and he thought how, as like as not, just such another vagabond as himself was hanged on one of them; and he muttered:  ’If it were hanging or bowstringing, or stoning or beheading, it would be bad enough.  But to have the birds pecking your eyes and the wolves eating your feet!  I would that the red wind of the Druids had withered in his cradle the soldier of Dathi, who brought the tree of death out of barbarous lands, or that the lightning, when it smote Dathi at the foot of the mountain, had smitten him also, or that his grave had been dug by the green-haired and green-toothed merrows deep at the roots of the deep sea.’

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The Secret Rose from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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