Who Goes With Fergus?
William Butler Yeats
Who will go drive with Fergus now,
And peirce the deep wood's woven shade,
And dance upon the level shore?
Young man, lift up your russet brow,
And lift your tender eyelids, maid,
And brood on hopes and fear no more.
And no more turn aside and brood
Upon love's bitter mystery;
For Fergus rules the brazen cars,
And rules the shadows of the wood,
And the white breast of the dim sea
And all dishevelled wandering stars.
In this poem, Yeats uses the figure of Fergus mac Roich, the deposed king of Ulster who, in stead of going to war to regain his kingdom, decided to become a wandering bard and live on the fringes of society. As such, it seems to celebrate the bohemian (and pastoral) idea of leaving the corrupting influences of society to live a life of wonder in a natural environment.