Come away, O human child…

This is the refrain from a hauntingly beautiful poem by Yeats.  I love how it acknowledges the darkness in the world, and the seeming hopelessness of it…and yet hints at an elusive fairy-land where things are as they should be.

The Stolen Child by W.B. Yeats

Where dips the rocky highland
Of Sleuth Wood in the lake,
There lies a leafy island
Where flapping herons wake
The drowsy water-rats;
There we’ve hid our faery vats,
Full of berries
And of the reddest stolen cherries.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild 
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

 

Where the wave of moonlight glosses
The dim grey sands with light,
Far off by furthest Rosses
We foot it all the night,
Weaving olden dances,
Mingling hands and mingling glances
Till the moon has taken flight;
To and fro we leap
And chase the frothy bubbles,
While the world is full of troubles
And is anxious in its sleep.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild 
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

 

Where the wandering water gushes
From the hills above Glen-Car,
In pools among the rushes
That scarce could bathe a star,
We seek for slumbering trout
And whispering in their ears
Give them unquiet dreams;
Leaning softly out
From ferns that drop their tears
Over the young streams
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild 
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

 

Away with us he’s going,
The solemn eyed:
He’ll hear no more the lowing
Of the calves on the warm hillside
Or the kettle on the hob
Sing peace into his breast,
Or see the brown mice bob
Round and round the oatmeal-chest.
For he comes, the human child!
To the waters and the wild 
With a faery, hand in hand,
From a world more full of weeping than he can understand.

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