Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Baile and Aillinn by William Butler Yeats (part 1)

ARGUMENT. Baile and Aillinn were lovers, but Aengus, the Master
of Love, wishing them to he happy in his own land among the
dead, told to each a story of the other’s death, so that their hearts were
broken and they died.

I hardly hear the curlew cry,
Nor thegrey rush when the wind is high,
Before my thoughts begin to run
On the heir of Uladh, Buan’s son,
Baile, who had the honey mouth;
And that mild woman of the south,
Aillinn, who was King Lugaidh’s heir.
Their love was never drowned in care
Of this or that thing, nor grew cold
Because their hodies had grown old.
Being forbid to marry on earth,
They blossomed to immortal mirth.

About the time when Christ was born,
When the long wars for the White Horn
And the Brown Bull had not yet come,
Young Baile Honey Mouth, whom some
Called rather Baile Little-Land,
Rode out of Emain with a band
Of harpers and young men; and they
Imagined, as they struck the way
To many-pastured Muirthemne,
That all things fell out happily,
And there, for all that fools had said,
Baile and Aillinn would be wed.

They found an old man running there:
He had ragged long grass-coloured hair;
He had knees that stuck out of his hose;

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