THE WILD SWANS AT COOLE

William Butler Yeats

The trees are in their autumn beauty,
The woodland paths are dry,
Under the October twilight the water
Mirrors a still sky;
Upon the brimming water among the stones
Are nine-and-fifty swans.

The nineteenth autumn has come upon me
Since I first made my count;
I saw, before I had well finished,
All suddenly mount
And scatter wheeling in great broken rings
Upon their clamorous wings.

I have looked upon those brilliant creatures,
And now my heart is sore.
All's changed since I, hearing at twilight,
The first time on this shore,
The bell-beat of their wings above my head,
Trod with a lighter tread.

Unwearied still, lover by lover,
They paddle in the cold
Companionable streams or climb the air;
Their hearts have not grown old;
Passion or conquest, wander where they will,
Attend upon them still.

But now they drift on the still water,
Mysterious, beautiful;
Among what rushes will they build,
By what lake's edge or pool
Delight men's eyes when I awake some day
To find they have flown away?

The great William Butler Yeats was a frequent visitor at Coole Park, a grand house and estate near Gort in Galway which, in the early 20th century was the home of Lady Augusta Gregory. Lady Gregory was a writer and co-founder of the Abbey Theatre with Yeats and Edward Martyn. Yeats wrote a number of poems about or mentioning Coole Park and its seven woods

Coole Park became the centre of what is known as the Irish Literary Revival. Two Nobel Prize winners for Literature - W.B. Yeats and George Bernard Shaw as well as other writers such as Sean O' Casey and John Synge were entranced by Coole Park. These great writers are among many others who have etched their initials into the famous Autograph Tree, an aged beech tree which still stands today. The house was demolished in 1941, but Coole has been owned by the Irish State since 1927 and the lakes, woods and gardens are still there for visitors. See the Coole Park official site