Dark leopards of the moon

A lesser-known moon poem from a poet nonetheless well known for his poems about moons. Despite the deliciously mock-decorous tone of ‘those most noble ladies’ the title and the closing lines make it clear this is an impassioned lament about the vanishing of the images and visions and creatures of the imagination. On the other hand the loose unravelling lines prophesy a coming freedom – and control – in the poet’s verse.

Lines Written in Dejection

When have I last looked on
The round green eyes and the long wavering bodies
Of the dark leopards of the moon?
All the wild witches, those most notable ladies,
For all their broom-sticks and their tears,
Their angry tears, are gone.
The holy centaurs of the hills are vanished;
I have nothing but the embittered sun;
Banished heroic mother moon and vanished,
And now that I have come to fifty years
I must endure the timid sun.

W.B.Yeats (1915)

~ by thebicyclops on February 17, 2013.

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