Verse > W.B. Yeats > Responsibilities and Other Poems
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W.B. Yeats (1865–1939).  Responsibilities and Other Poems.  1916.

14. The Well and the Tree


‘THE MAN that I praise,’ 
Cries out the empty well, 
‘Lives all his days 
Where a hand on the bell 
Can call the milch-cows         5
To the comfortable door of his house. 
Who but an idiot would praise 
Dry stones in a well?’ 
  
‘The Man that I praise,’ 
Cries out the leafless tree,  10
‘Has married and stays 
By an old hearth, and he 
On naught has set store 
But children and dogs on the floor. 
Who but an idiot would praise  15
A withered tree?’ 


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