Wednesday, November 9, 2011

"An Irish Airman Foresees His Death" by W.B. Yeats


I know that I shall meet my fate
Somewhere among the clouds above;
Those that I fight I do not hate
Those that I guard I do not love;
My country is Kiltartan Cross,
My countrymen Kiltartan's poor,
No likely end could bring them loss
Or leave them happier than before.
Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,
Nor public man, nor angry crowds,
A lonely impulse of delight
Drove to this tumult in the clouds;
I balanced all, brought all to mind,
The years to come seemed waste of breath,
A waste of breath the years behind
In balance with this life, this death.

Source of the text - W.B. Yeats, The Wild Swans at Coole.  New York: The Macmillan Company, 1919, p. 13.

Bourguignomicon: Grouch prophecy; aerial bombardment as a way to stave off boredom. This chant is so strong & memorable we almost wish it were patriotic.

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