by: W. B. Yeats (1865-1939)
- HIS night has been so strange
that it seemed
- As if the hair stood up on my head.
- From going-down of the sun I have dreamed
- That women laughing, or timid or wild,
- In rustle of lace or silken stuff,
- Climbed up my creaking stair. They had read
- All I had rhymed of that monstrous thing
- Returned and yet unrequited love.
- They stood in the door and stood between
- My great wood lectern and the fire
- Till I could hear their hearts beating:
- One is a harlot, and one a child
- That never looked upon man with desire,
- And one, it may be, a queen.
POEMS BY WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS
"Presences" is reprinted
from The Wild Swans at Coole. W.B. Yeats. New York: Macmillan,