At Thoor Ballylee
If we could only find some personal conviction In ourselves, not be as dispirited as a heavy soil Or as inevitable as a tree; as unlearned as An attitude of our fathers. If this heavy rain, Which is really only vapours off the boil And growing cold in Co. Galway, if this rain has Any meaning other than itself, then a stain
Or Yeatsean watermark should be Impressed upon us here. This slate roof Should give us back more than an Echo of rain. I should really be able to see A sign, maybe an impression of a horse’s hoof Where a huntsman rode by, or a window frame Filled with ghostly senators. But these trees
And their April leaves are all that’s left For me. The spirits of the place are elsewhere, Maybe thousands of miles away in Villanova or Princeton. This tower is bereft Of an intellectual life. This empty seminar Of rain and late floods makes it plain That a theft happened here, a grand theft.
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