The Meditation of the Old Fisherman

YOU waves, though you dance by my feet like children at play,
Though you glow and you glance, though you purr and you dart;
In the Junes that were warmer than these are, the waves were more gay,
When I was a boy with never a crack in my heart.

The herring are not in the tides as they were of old;
My sorrow! for many a creak gave the creel in the cart
That carried the take to Sligo town to be sold,
When I was a boy with never a crack in my heart.

And ah, you proud maiden, you are not so fair when his oar
Is heard on the water, as they were, the proud and apart,
Who paced in the eve by the nets on the pebbly shore,
When I was a boy with never a crack in my heart.

William Butler Yeats(1865-1939)


A memory fondly preserved The Meditation of the Old Fisherman is one of Yeats earliest poems most likely written in his early twenties. The Irish poet, dramatist, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature published this particular piece in Crossways (1889) relating his colleagues that he wrote it based on a conversation he while out fishing on Siglo Bay with a fellow fisherman. No doubt on a cold day in June.

Sources:

Blair, Bob. The Poet's Corner:
http://www.theotherpages.org/poems/index.html

Public domain text taken from The Poets’ Corner:
http://www.theotherpages.org/poems/2001/yeats0101.html


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