An 11-line abridgement by W. B. Yeats of his great poem "To the Rose Upon the Rood of Time, inscribed under a handsome portrait of the artist as a young man.
The 24-line poem was first published in 1893. In the present transcription, Yeats combines the first two lines of the first stanza with the first nine lines of the second stanza to form fine abridgement:
Red Rose, proud Rose, sad Rose of all my days!
Come near me, while I sing the ancient ways:
Come near, come near, come near—Ah, leave me still
A little space for the rose-breath to fill!
Lest I no more hear common things that crave;
The weak worm hiding down in its small cave,
The field-mouse running by me in the grass,
And heavy mortal hopes that toil and pass;
But seek alone to hear the strange things said
By God to the bright hearts of those long dead,
And learn to chaunt a tongue men do not know.
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