Verse > W.B. Yeats > The Wild Swans at Coole
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W.B. Yeats (1865–1939).  The Wild Swans at Coole.  1919.

39. Another Song of a Fool


THIS great purple butterfly, 
In the prison of my hands, 
Has a learning in his eye 
Not a poor fool understands. 
  
Once he lived a schoolmaster         5
With a stark, denying look, 
A string of scholars went in fear 
Of his great birch and his great book. 
  
Like the clangour of a bell, 
Sweet and harsh, harsh and sweet,  10
That is how he learnt so well 
To take the roses for his meat. 


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