The Secret Rose

The Secret Rose

Original Text

Yeats, William Butler. W. B. Yeats: Selected Poetry: 33-34. Ed. by A. Norman Jeffares. London: Macmillan, 1968.

1Far-off, most secret, and inviolate Rose,
2Enfold me in my hour of hours; where those
3Who sought thee in the Holy Sepulchre,
4Or in the wine-vat, dwell beyond the stir
5And tumult of defeated dreams; and deep
6Among pale eyelids, heavy with the sleep
7Men have named beauty. Thy great leaves enfold
8The ancient beards, the helms of ruby and gold
9Of the crowned Magi; and the king whose eyes
10Saw the pierced Hands and Rood of elder rise
11In Druid vapour and make the torches dim;
12Till vain frenzy awoke and he died; and him
13Who met Fand walking among flaming dew
14By a grey shore where the wind never blew,
15And lost the world and Emer for a kiss;
16And him who drove the gods out of their liss,
17And till a hundred morns had flowered red
18Feasted, and wept the barrows of his dead;
19And the proud dreaming king who flung the crown
20And sorrow away, and calling bard and clown
21Dwelt among wine-stained wanderers in deep woods:
22And him who sold tillage, and house, and goods,
23And sought through lands and islands numberless years,
24Until he found, with laughter and with tears,
25A woman of so shining loveliness
26That men threshed corn at midnight by a tress,
27A little stolen tress. I, too, await
28The hour of thy great wind of love and hate.
29When shall the stars be blown about the sky,
30Like the sparks blown out of a smithy, and die?
31Surely thine hour has come, thy great wind blows,
32Far-off, most secret, and inviolate Rose?
Publication Start Year
Publication Notes

, 1899

RPO poem Editors
Ian Lancashire, assisted by Ana Berdinskikh
RPO Edition