His Dream

By William Butler Yeats

    I Swayed upon the gaudy stern
    The butt end of a steering oar,
    And everywhere that I could turn
    Men ran upon the shore.

    And though I would have hushed the crowd,
    There was no mother’s son but said,
    ‘What is the figure in a shroud
    Upon a gaudy bed?’

    And fishes bubbling to the brim
    Cried out upon that thing beneath,
    It had such dignity of limb,
    By the sweet name of Death.

    Though I’d my finger on my lip,
    What could I but take up the song?
    And fish and crowd and gaudy ship
    Cried out the whole night long,

    Crying amid the glittering sea,
    Naming it with ecstatic breath,
    Because it had such dignity
    By the sweet name of Death.

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