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John Kinsella’s Lament For Mrs. Mary Moore

William Butler Yeats

I

A bloody and a sudden end,
  Gunshot or a noose,
For Death who takes what man would keep,
  Leaves what man would lose.
He might have had my sister,
  My cousins by the score,
But nothing satisfied the fool
  But my dear Mary Moore,
None other knows what pleasures man
  At table or in bed.
What shall I do for pretty girls
  Now my old bawd is dead?

                II

Though stiff to strike a bargain,
  Like an old Jew man,
Her bargain struck we laughed and talked
  And emptied many a can;
And O! but she had stories,
  Though not for the priest’s ear,
To keep the soul of man alive,
  Banish age and care,
And being old she put a skin
  On everything she said.
What shall I do for pretty girls
  Now my old bawd is dead?

                III

The priests have got a book that says
  But for Adam’s sin
Eden’s Garden would be there
  And I there within.
No expectation fails there,
  No pleasing habit ends,
No man grows old, no girl grows cold
  But friends walk by friends.
Who quarrels over halfpennies
  That plucks the trees for bread?
What shall I do for pretty girls
  Now my old bawd is dead?
Online text © 1998-2014 Poetry X. All rights reserved.
From Last Poems | 1939
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