English Literature » William Butler Yeats » To a Child Dancing in the Wind

To a Child Dancing in the Wind by

I
DANCE there upon the shore;  
What need have you to care  
For wind or water’s roar?  
And tumble out your hair  
That the salt drops have wet;
Being young you have not known  
The fool’s triumph, nor yet  
Love lost as soon as won,  
Nor the best labourer dead  
And all the sheaves to bind.
What need have you to dread  
The monstrous crying of wind?  
  
II
Has no one said those daring  
Kind eyes should be more learn’d?  
Or warned you how despairing
The moths are when they are burned,  
I could have warned you, but you are young,  
So we speak a different tongue.  
  
O you will take whatever’s offered  
And dream that all the world’s a friend,
Suffer as your mother suffered,  
Be as broken in the end.  
But I am old and you are young,  
And I speak a barbarous tongue.

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