-- William Butler Yeats
Fergus: This whole day i have followed in the rocks
And you have changed and flowed from shape to shape
First as a raven on whose ancient wings
Scarcely a feather lingered, then you seemed
A weasel moving on from stone to stone
And now at last you wear a human shape
A thin grey man half lost in gathering light
Druid: What would you, king of the proud Red Branch knights?
Fergus: This i would say, most wise of living souls:
Young subtle Conchubar sat close by me
When I gave judgement, and his words were wise
And what to me was burden without end
To him seemed easy, so I laid the crown
Upon his head to cast away my sorrow.
Druid: What would you, King of the proud Red Branch knights?
Fergus: A king and proud! And that is my despair
I feast amid my people on the hill
And pace the woods, and drive my chariot-wheels
In the white border of the murmuring sea
And still I feel the crown upon my head.
Druid What would you, Fergus?
Fergus: Be no more a king
But learn the dreaming wisdom that is yours.
Druid: Look on my thin grey hair and hollow cheeks
And on these hands that may not lift a sword
This body trembling like a wind-blown reed
No woman's loved me, no man sought my help.
Fergus: A king is but a foolish labourer
Who wastes his blood to be another's dream.
Druid: Take, if you must, this little bag of dreams;
Unloose the cord, and they will wrap around you.
Fergus: I see my life go drifting like a river
From change to change, I have been many things
A green drop in the surge, a gleam of light
Upon a sword, a fir-tree on a hill
An old slave grinding at a heavy quern
A king sitting upon a chair of gold.
But now i have grow nothing, knowing all.
Ah! Druid, Druid, how great webs of sorrow
Lay hidden in the small slate-coloured thing!