Sunday, June 15, 2014

History

History (M.A. Reilly 2011)

The Stare's Nest by My Window


- Willam Butler Yeats


The bees build in the crevices
Of loosening masonry, and there
The mother birds bring grubs and flies.
My wall is loosening; honey-bees,
Come build in the empty house of the stare.

We are closed in, and the key is turned
On our uncertainty; somewhere
A man is killed, or a house burned.
Yet no clear fact to be discerned:
Come build in the empty house of the stare.

A barricade of stone or of wood;
Some fourteen days of civil war:
Last night they trundled down the road
That dead young soldier in his blood:
Come build in the empty house of the stare.

We had fed the heart on fantasies,
The heart's grown brutal from the fare,
More substance in our enmities
Than in our love; O honey-bees,
Come build in the empty house of the stare.




Yeats write this poem when he was 57, living with his wife and two children. The context for the poem is the Irish Civil War. (BTW, in the west of Ireland, a stare is a starling.)

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