Though his brow be white as snow--

Though his brow be clear and white

And beneath it fancies bright,

Wisdom and high thoughts are woven

And the musics of delight,

Though his temples too be fair

Yet two horns are growing there

Bursting forth to part asunder

All the riches of his hair.

Faerie maidens he may meet

Fly the horns and cloven feet,

But, his sad brown eyes with wonder

Seeing-stay from their retreat.

IV. Victory

Roland is dead, Cuchulain's crest is low,

The battered war-rear wastes and turns to rust,

And Helen's eyes and Iseult's lips are dust

And dust the shoulders and the breasts of snow.

The faerie people from our woods are gone,

No Dryads have I found in all our trees,

No Triton blows his horn about our seas

And Arthur sleeps far hence in Avalon.

The ancient songs they wither as the grass

And waste as doth a garment waxen old,

All poets have been fools who thought to mould

A monument more durable than brass.

For these decay: but not for that decays

The yearning, high, rebellious spirit of man

That never rested yet since life began

From striving with red Nature and her ways.

Now in the filth of war, the baresark shout

Of battle, it is vexed. And yet so oft

Out of the deeps, of old, it rose aloft

That they who watch the ages may not doubt.

Though often bruised, oft broken by the rod,

Yet, like the phoenix, from each fiery bed

Higher the stricken spirit lifts its head

And higher-till the beast become a god.

V. Irish Nocturne

Now the grey mist comes creeping up

From the waste ocean's weedy strand

And fills the valley, as a cup

If filled of evil drink in a wizard's hand;

And the trees fade out of sight,

Like dreary ghosts unhealthily,

Into the damp, pale night,

Till you almost think that a clearer eye could see

Some shape come up of a demon seeking apart

His meat, as Grendel sought in Harte

The thanes that sat by the wintry log--

Grendel or the shadowy mass

Of Balor, or the man with the face of clay,

The grey, grey walker who used to pass

Over the rock-arch nightly to his prey.

But here at the dumb, slow stream where the willows hang,

With never a wind to blow the mists apart,

Bitter and bitter it is for thee. O my heart,

Looking upon this land, where poets sang,

Thus with the dreary shroud

Unwholesome, over it spread,

And knowing the fog and the cloud

In her people's heart and head

Even as it lies for ever upon her coasts

Making them dim and dreamy lest her sons should ever arise

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