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King And No King

William Butler Yeats

‘Would it were anything but merely voice!’
The No King cried who after that was King,
Because he had not heard of anything
That balanced with a word is more than noise;
Yet Old Romance being kind, let him prevail
Somewhere or somehow that I have forgot,
Though he’d but cannon—Whereas we that had thought
To have lit upon as clean and sweet a tale
Have been defeated by that pledge you gave
In momentary anger long ago;
And I that have not your faith, how shall I know
That in the blinding light beyond the grave
We’ll find so good a thing as that we have lost?
The hourly kindness, the day’s common speech.
The habitual content of each with each
Men neither soul nor body has been crossed.
Online text © 1998-2014 Poetry X. All rights reserved.
From The Green Helmet and Other Poems | 1910
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