Sunday, August 28, 2005

He wishes for the cloths of heaven

Writing yesterday about the ludicrously opaque rhyming scheme of the Prologue to Dylan Thomas' Collected Poems has reminded me of its antithesis in a poem by WB Yeats.

Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly, because you tread on my dreams.

You can't really get any simpler than rhyming cloths with cloths, light with light, feet with feet and dreams with dreams; yet it remains a transcendent verse.

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