THE POETRY ARCHIVES @ eMule.com PRINT CLOSE

The Old Stone Cross
by William Butler Yeats

A STATESMAN is an easy man,
He tells his lies by rote;
A journalist makes up his lies
And takes you by the throat;
So stay at home' and drink your beer
And let the neighbours' vote,
i{Said the man in the golden breastplate}
i{Under the old stone Cross.}
Because this age and the next age
Engender in the ditch,
No man can know a happy man
From any passing wretch;
If Folly link with Elegance
No man knows which is which,
<1Said the man in the golden breastplate
Under the old stone Cross.>1
But actors lacking music
Do most excite my spleen,
They say it is more human
To shuffle, grunt and groan,
Not knowing what unearthly stuff
Rounds a mighty scene,
<1Said the man in the golden breastplate
Under the old stone Cross.>1