Constance Markievicz – Poem By W.B. Yeats

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w.b.yeats

Poet W. B. Yeats did not approve of Constance’s politics. However, he seems to have been awed by her determination and fortitude:

ON A POLITICAL PRISONER

She that but little patience knew
From childhood on, had now so much.
A grey gull lost its fear and flew
Done to her cell and there alit,
And there endured her finger’s touch
And from her fingers ate its bit.
Did she in touching that lone wing
Recall the years before her mind
constance markieviczBecame a bitter, an abstract thing,
Her thoughts some popular enmity;
Blind and leader of the blind,
Drinking the foul ditch where they lie?
When long ago I saw her ride
Under Ben Bulben to the meet,
The beauty of her countryside
With all youth’s lonely wildness stirred,
She seemed to have grown clean and sweet
Like any rock-bred, sea-born bird:
Sea-born and balanced on the air,
When first it sprang out of the nest
Upon some lofty rock to stare
Upon the cloudy canopy,
While under its storm-beaten breast
Cries out the hollows of the sea.

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