Song of Wandering Aengus
I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.
When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire aflame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And some one called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.
Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.
– W. B. Yeats
No real commentary, just some Yeats love. I love the coolness and silvery-darkness of all of the images in the first and second stanzas contrasted with the “fire in [his] head,” and the way the meter and slant rhyme/consonance of “hollow lands and hilly lands” echo the rolling, repetitious feel of the image itself.
3 thoughts on ““Song of Wandering Aengus””
I love this whole poem, as well as much of Yeats, but the last stanza in particular sends an enormous shiver up my spine.
Ooh, Yeats! My favorite. Donovan did a great cover of this back in like the 70s or something, it works really well as a song.
Maureen – Agreed.
Andygrrrl – I was just thinking about editing to comment that I had been thinking about it specifically because I’d been obsessively listening to Patrick Wolf’s musical arrangement of it, under the title “The Hazelwood.” :) I’ll have to look up the Donovan version!