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The White Goddess as muse in the poetry of W.B. Yeats Slinn, Eunice 1969

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THE WHITE GODDESS AS MUSE IN THE POETRY OF W. B. YEATS by EUNICE SLINN B.A.(Hons.)» U n i v e r s i t y of York, 1966 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n the Department of E n g l i s h We a c c e p t t h i s t h e s i s as conforming t o the r e q u i r e d s t a n d a r d THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA May, 1969 In present ing th i s thes i s in p a r t i a l f u l f i lmen t of the requirements fo r an advanced degree at the Un iver s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the L ib ra ry sha l l make i t f r e e l y ava i l ab le for reference and study. I fu r ther agree that permission for extens ive copying of th i s thes i s f o r s cho la r l y purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by h i s representat ives . It is understood that copying or pub l i ca t i on o f th i s thes i s fo r f i nanc i a l gain sha l l not be allowed without my wr i t ten permiss ion. Department of English The Un iver s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver 8, Canada D a t e 11th August. 1971. ABSTRACT I n s p i r a t i o n as embodied i n the m y t h i c a l f i g u r e o f t h e Muse i s an i n s i s t e n t theme i n Y e a t s ' p o e t r y . H i s p a r t i c u l a r concept of the Muse i s drawn from C e l t i c mythology, and i n i t s p r i n c i p a l a s p e c t s i s synonymous w i t h Robert G r a v e s ' s i n i s t e r White Goddess, which d e r i v e s from s i m i l a r o r cognate s o u r c e s i n C e l t i c l o r e . The White Goddess i s d e s c r i b e d i n terms of a t r i a d o f mother, b e l o v e d and s l a y e r , and may be c o n s i d e r e d t h e p r o t o t y p e f o r the G a e l i c Muse, c e l e b r a t e d by p o e t s as the Leanhaun Si d h e . O r i g i n a l l y , the Leanhaun Sidhe was a goddess of th e T u a t h a De Danaan; the Danaans were the d i v i n i t i e s o f a n c i e n t E i r e who f i n a l l y " dwindled i n t h e p o p u l a r i m a g i n a t i o n " t o become the f a i r y folk, o r S i d h e . F r a c t i o n s of Y e a t s ' p r o s e and h i s c o l l e c t i o n s of C e l t i c s t o r i e s p o r t r a y t h e S i d h e ' s a c t i v i t i e s and the Muse's g i f t o f d e a t h l y i n s p i r a -t i o n . The Leanhaun Sidhe and h e r f a i r y d e n i z e n s predominate i n Y e a t s ' f i r s t major poem "The Wanderings o f O i s i n " and i n h i s f i r s t t h r e e volumes of p o e t r y . The C e l t i c theme of the s e d u c t i o n of a m o r t a l by a f a i r y e n c h a n t r e s s p r o v i d e s t h e c o n t r o l l i n g s t r u c t u r e of "The Wanderings of O i s i n . " The o r n a t e l y b e a u t i f u l and s i n i s t e r Niamh e n t i c e s O i s i n away from h i s c h e r i s h e d F e n i a n companions and from a l l human e x p e r i e n c e ; how-e v e r , a f t e r t h r e e hundred y e a r s i n the immortal r e a l m , O i s i n l o n g s t o r e t u r n t o the i n s u f f i c i e n c i e s o f m o r t a l i t y . "The Wanderings of O i s i n " e s t a b l i s h e s the e q u i v o c a l d i a l e c t i c o f the f a i r y and human o r d e r s , of s e d u c t i v e v i s i o n and i n e s c a p a b l e f a c t , which u n d e r l i e s much of Y e a t s ' i i i l a t e r work. The a t t r i b u t e s o f t h e Leanhaun Sidhe a r e a l s o s e m i n a l . As White Goddess, she r e p r e s e n t s the b e l o v e d i n whom the d u a l i t i e s o f c r e a -t i o n and d e s t r u c t i o n c o i n c i d e ; i n a d d i t i o n she p o s s e s s e s i n d i v i d u a l q u a l i t i e s , n o t a b l y , h e r s a d n e s s . Niamh i s comparable t o the f a i r y be-g u i l e r s o f CrOssways and p a r t i c u l a r l y t o the Muse f i g u r e s o f The Rose. In t h i s second volume, Y e a t s s u p p l i c a t e s the Rose (the C e l t i c Muse) f o r the f a c i l i t y t o s i n g Danaan songs. Her i n s p i r a t i o n a l l o w s him t o p e r -c e i v e the e s s e n c e u n d e r l y i n g t h e phenomenal w o r l d , but a g a i n the t r a n s -cendent cannot deny the f i n i t e and the immortal Rose remains t r a n s f i x e d upon the Rood o f Time ("To the Rose upon the Rood o f T i m e " ) . Her r o l e as White Goddess i s emphatic: she prompts God t o c r e a t e the w o r l d , but c o n v e r s e l y h e r b e a u t y e f f e c t s i t s d e s t r u c t i o n . The Wind among the Reeds embodies a c l i m a c t i c treatment o f the f l i g h t i n t o f a i r y l a n d . The poet m e d i t a t e s upon the a p o c a l y p t i c Sidhe w i t h u n c e a s i n g d e s i r e ; t h e r e i s no c o u n t e r w e i g h t t o a l l u r i n g v i s i o n . I n t h e p o e t r y of 1904-10, the Muse r e t a i n s h e r r o l e of White Goddess, but becomes a c r e a t u r e of m o r t a l i t y . S i n c e she i s b o t h change-f u l and s u b j e c t to change, the poet laments h e r c r u e l f i c k l e n e s s and her t r a n s i e n c y . A l t h o u g h m o r t a l , she i s the human o r i g i n a l f o r the h e r o i c a r c h e t y p e , and Y e a t s endows h e r w i t h the e p i c s a v a g e r y and r e c k l e s s n e s s of t h e C e l t i c w a r r i o r queens. The M o r r i g u becomes the s o u r c e of i n s p i r -a t i o n . A f t e r The Green Helmet and Other Poems the Muse no l o n g e r s e r v e s as a major s t r u c t u r a l theme. Yeats becomes p r e o c c u p i e d w i t h the f i n i s h e d work of a r t , the h i g h l y - w r o u g h t a r t e f a c t , r a t h e r than w i t h the i n s p i r a t i o n i v f o r t h a t work. The Muse i s the l e g e n d a r y d e s t r u c t i v e b e l o v e d , Mary Hynes o r H e l e n , but the poet c r e a t e s h e r , she does not c r e a t e him. The Muse as a r t e f a c t p r o v e s the i n v e n t i o n o f the aged poet who cannot r e n d e r an i m p a s s i o n e d d e d i c a t i o n t o female beauty. "The Tower" i s the most prominent poem t o t r e a t t h i s change, y e t even h e r e Yeats r e a f f i r m s h i s d u a l a l l e g i a n c e t o a r t and l i f e , the r e s o l u t i o n e c h o i n g the p a t t e r n e s t a b l i s h e d i n "The Wanderings of O i s i n . " In the l a t e p o e t r y , the White Goddess as Muse i s t o t a l l y disavowed and Y e a t s t u r n s to t h e p e r s o n a of the f l e s h l y C r a z y Jane; i n t e r e s t i n g l y , the aged poet c e l e b r a t e s the p l e a s u r e s of the body and o f the p h y s i c a l u n i v e r s e . CONTENTS Chapter Page I . THE WHITE GODDESS . . . . . . . . . 1 I I . THE CALL OF THE SIDHE 18 I I I . THE MORTAL AND HEROIC MUSE 48 IV. SELF-CREATION IN OLD AGE: THE MUSE AS ARTEFACT 70 SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY 100 THE WHITE GODDESS AS MUSE IN THE POETRY OF W. B. YEATS CHAPTER I THE WHITE GODDESS The Muse i s the m y t h i c a l embodiment of the s o u r c e of i n s p i r a t i o n , t h e prompter of the p o e t ' s v e r s e . Jung, i n h i s d i s c u s s i o n of the g e n e s i s of a work of a r t , s t a t e s t h a t t h i s s t i m u l u s a r i s e s from t h e depths of the psyche which c o n t a i n s man's f a t h o m l e s s p r i m o r d i a l e x p e r i e n c e , the c o l l e c t i v e unconscious."^ Images emerge from t h i s m y s t e r i o u s r e a l m and are most v i a b l e f o r Jung when they a r e of m y t h o l o g i c a l d e r i v a t i o n , s i n c e mythology i s the r e s e r v o i r o f symbols from p r i m i t i v e t i m e s . He d e s i g -2 n a t e s t h e u n c o n s c i o u s "the r e a l m of the mothers," and i t i s a p p r o p r i a t e t h a t a f e m i n i n e f i g u r e s h o u l d embody the c r e a t i v e i m p ulses g e n e r a t e d from t h i s r e a l m . The Muse i s the metaphor f o r i n s p i r a t i o n , and t h i s metaphor has d e v e l o p e d i n t o v a r i o u s , more complex metaphors, as Y e a t s ' Byzantium images beget f r e s h ones. There a r e , f o r example, the n i n e Muses p r e s i d i n g o v e r the a r t s , w i t h C a l l i o p e as p o e t i c i n s p i r a t i o n . How-ev e r , a l l d i v e r g e n t t y p e s a r e subsumed by a h i g h l y - w r o u g h t metaphor f o r 3 the M u s e — i n Robert Graves' t e r m i n o l o g y , t h e t r i p l e White Goddess. T h i s comprehensive metaphor f o r i n s p i r a t i o n i s d i r e c t l y r e f e r a b l e t o the Y e a t s i a n Muse, the Leanhaun S i d h e , as a b r i e f s u r v e y o f the Gravesean c r e e d w i l l i n d i c a t e . In a p r o d i g i o u s s t u d y , Graves c l a i m s t h a t the White Goddess i s the i n s p i r a t i o n f o r and u n i v e r s a l s u b j e c t of 4 a l l " t r u e p o e t r y . " C l o t h e d i n many g u i s e s , she i s a l s o the p r o t a g o n i s t of m y t h o l o g i e s from the B r i t i s h I s l e s to t h e Caucasus and numerous 2 examples o f the f i g u r e a r e r e l i g i o u s l y c a t a l o g u e d , such as A l p h i t o , A l b i n a (England's eponymous godd e s s ) , I s h t a r , Demeter, Danu. Graves d e s -c r i b e s t h e Goddess i n terms o f mother, b e l o v e d and s l a y e r , o r , as he e l a b o r a t e s , i n the t r i a d i c p a t t e r n o f b i r t h and growth, l o v e and b a t t l e , d e ath and d i v i n a t i o n . ^ She i s the c r e a t o r and d e s t r o y e r , the o r i g i n and c l o s e o f l i f e , and the e a r t h l y j o y o f the b e l o v e d between t h e s e two u l t i m a t e s ; the v a g a r i e s o f l o v e cause c o n f l i c t and b a t t l e , l e a d i n g t o the f i n a l phase, d e a t h . G r a v e s ' t r i n i t y r e p r e s e n t s the d u a l i t y o f c r e a t i o n and d e s t r u c t i o n as s o l e l y dependent upon t h e f i g u r e of the b e l o v e d . As the c r e a t i v e p r i n c i p l e o f E a r t h Mother, she p r e s i d e s over g e n e r a t i o n , b o t h p h y s i c a l and i n t e l l e c t u a l , and s p e c i f i c a l l y o v e r the po e t ' s c a l l i n g . She encom-passe s the whole c y c l e o f man's d e s t i n y and was thus worshipped appro-p r i a t e l y as the moon-goddess w i t h h e r t h r e e - f o l d f a c e o f new, f u l l and waning moon. The moon i s , o f c o u r s e , a female symbol i n l i t e r a t u r e and myth, e v o k i n g the enchantment o f the " f e m i n i n e m y s t i q u e , " but p r i n -c i p a l l y the image i s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h f a t e . As the moon c o n t r o l s the t i d e s , so woman s i t s a r b i t r e s s o f d e s t i n y , o f the ebb and f l o w o f human c i r c u m s t a n c e ; d e s t i n y i s always endowed w i t h t h e female gender, f o r ex-ample, i n such c o m p l e t e l y d i s p a r a t e types as the Three F a t e s and t h a t E l i z a b e t h a n strumpet o f f o r t u n e . In a d d i t i o n t o d i s c u s s i n g the concept of the Muse, Graves l i s t s the p i c t o r i a l f e a t u r e s , which accompany h e r p o r t r a y a l . As h e r e p i p h e t i n d i c a t e s , she has a w h i t e b e a u t y , and Graves r e g i s t e r s v a r i e d a s s o c i a -t i o n a l and e t y m o l o g i c a l dimensions o f the c o l o u r , such as the w h i t e n e s s o f the moon, a woman's body, p e a r l b a r l e y , the foam of a wave, a s p e c t r e , d e ath and l e p r o s y . ^ L e p r o s y s u g g e s t s the h o r r i f i c a s p e c t of h e r w h i t e -n e s s , which i s i l l u s t r a t e d i n t h a t renowned d e s c r i p t i o n of d e a t h - i n - l i f e i n "The A n c i e n t M a r i n e r " : Her l i p s were r e d , h e r l o o k s were f r e e , Her l o c k s were y e l l o w as g o l d , Her s k i n was w h i t e as l e p r o s y . The Nightmare L i f e - i n - D e a t h was she, Who t h i c k s man's b l o o d w i t h c o l d . Red l i p s , y e l l o w h a i r and s t a r k l y w h i t e complexion a r e the u s u a l d r a m a t i c a l l y p i c t o r i a l a t t r i b u t e s o f the Goddess. Graves' o b e i s a n c e t o the Goddess i s e s s e n t i a l l y u n c h i v a l r i c , f o r he c h a r a c t e r i z e s h e r as an a l l - p o w e r f u l but not i d e a l i z e d f i g u r e . She i s the v o r a c i o u s , p r i m i t i v e E a r t h Mother, who can o n l y l o v e h e r own f e r t i l -i t y , l i v e s f o r h e r r e p r o d u c t i v e f u n c t i o n . M e l o d r a m a t i c emphasis i s p l a c e d upon the o r i g i n a l b a r b a r i s m of the m y t h i c a l w o r l d - p i c t u r e ; G raves' d e i t y i s t h e "Mother of A l l L i v i n g , " the queen bee o r female s p i d e r , whose embrace i s h i d e o u s d e a t h . T h i s s a vagery s h o u l d i n v e s t the p o e t r y w i t h a p a l p a b l e h o r r o r : "The r e a s o n why the h a i r stands on end, the eyes water, the t h r o a t i s c o n s t r i c t e d , the s k i n c r a w l s and a s h i v e r runs down the s p i n e when one w r i t e s o r reads a t r u e poem i s t h a t a t r u e poem i s n e c e s s a r i l y an i n v o c a t i o n o f t h e White Goddess, or Muse."^ Graves o b s e s s i v e d e d i c a t i o n to a p r i m i t i v e d e i t y may seem i r r e c o n -c i l a b l e w i t h Y e a t s ' f i n e a r i s t o c r a t i c pose and urbane i r o n y , which p r e v e n t s excess o r b a r b a r i t y . Graves h i m s e l f would not r e l i s h the com-8 p a r i s o n , y e t Y e a t s ' work shows a p r o f o u n d c o n c e r n w i t h the White Goddess 4 Hoffman has p o i n t e d out the s i m i l a r i t y between the two poets i n t h i s c o n t e x t : I f we a r e tempted to t h i n k of the White Goddess as an i d i o s y n -c r a t i c figment of one p o e t ' s c o m p u l s i o n s , o r as a f i g u r e shaped by c e r t a i n modern w r i t e r s , t h e i n a c c u r a c y of such assumptions s h o u l d be e v i d e n t i f o n l y because we have met t h i s woman b e f o r e , b r i n g i n g h e r g i f t s of e c s t a s y and doom. Y e a t s c a l l e d h e r A o i f e . C u c h u l a i n , h e r m o r t a l l o v e r , took h e r body i n a h o l y p l a c e on t h e mountain a c r o s s the s e a , i n the l a n d of s p i r i t s . . . . At the end o f The Death of C u c h u l a i n t h e hero i s b e s e t and b e s i e g e d by female f i g u r e s o f f a t a l i t y : h i s enemy i n b a t t l e i s Queen Maeve, h i s d y i n g v i s i o n i s o f A o i f e , h i s d i v i n e nemesis i s the M o r r i g u , crow-headed goddess of war who 'arranged t h e dance' . . . The r i t u a l s a c r i f i c e of a m o r t a l l o v e r t o an immortal female i s t h e theme a l s o o f o t h e r l a t e p l a y s of Y e a t s , A F u l l Moon i n March and The K i n g o f the G r e a t C l o c k Tower.9 Here, Hoffman makes p a r t i c u l a r r e f e r e n c e to the t h e a t r i c a l Muse, but I i n t e n d t o c o n c e n t r a t e e x c l u s i v e l y upon the Muse i n h e r r o l e as C a l l i o p e ; the White Goddess f o r Graves i s the s o u r c e of p o e t i c c r e a t i v i t y . I t i s e v i d e n t i n Hoffman's comment t h a t th e Y e a t s i a n Muse shar e s the same o r i g i n as G r a v e s ' i n C e l t i c l o r e , and Y e a t s ' m y t h o l o g i c a l knowledge and work show c l e a r e v i d e n c e s o f t h i s s i n i s t e r t y p e . Both poets p o s s e s s e d a s t r o n g i n t e r e s t i n and e x t e n s i v e knowledge of C e l t i c mythology: Graves examined Welsh l e g e n d , s t u d y i n g p r i n c i p a l l y i n The White Goddess two t h i r t e e n t h c e n t u r y Welsh poems, the Cad Goddeu and' th e Hanes T a l i e s i n , whereas Y e a t s was p r e o c c u p i e d w i t h I r i s h myth. However, Welsh and I r i s h f o l k l o r e comprise the same or cognate myths and the two can be d i s c u s s e d c o n j o i n t l y . The two d i v i s i o n s o f C e l t i c mythology p r o v i d e numerous c o r r e l a t i v e t y p e s , a prominent example b e i n g t h e e q u a t i o n of Gwion, hero o f the Hanes T a l i e s i n , w i t h F i o n n o r F i n n , the c e l e b r a t e d I r i s h w a r r i o r . Another i m p o r t a n t comparison may be drawn 5 between "the b l a c k screaming hag," Cerridwen, i n the Hanes T a l i e s i n and the I r i s h d e a t h and war goddess, the M o r r i g a n ; ^ b o t h embody the t h i r d a s p e c t o f t h e t r i p l e Goddess. The M o r r i g a n a l s o f i g u r e s i n t h e A r t h u r -i a n c y c l e as Morgan l e Faye, " l e Faye" meaning "the F a t e . " Y e a t s and Graves amply c o n s i d e r the Tuatha De Danaan, who con-quered t h e Formorah, d e i t i e s of c o l d , darkness and d e a t h , to take up t h e i r r e s i d e n c e as the gods o f a n c i e n t E i r e . The goddess Danu was the s o l e p a r e n t of t h e s e d i v i n i t i e s , i n d i c a t i n g a m a t r i a r c h a l pantheon and s o c i e t y . Y e a t s f r e q u e n t l y a l l u d e s t o t h e Tuatha De Danaan as the r a c e of the gods of Dana (Danu), t h e m o t h e r - g o d d e s s L a d y Gregory's Gods  and F i g h t i n g Men b e g i n s w i t h a b r i e f account of t h e o r i g i n and p r o t a g o n -i s t s o f t h e Tuatha De D a n a a n , . c u l m i n a t i n g i n a r e f e r e n c e t o Dana, mother 12 o f t h e gods, who "was beyond them a l l . " A f t e r t h e i r d e f e a t by the G a e l s , the Tuatha De Danaan r e t i r e d i n t o the h i l l s and r a t h s o f E i r e , and the a r t i f i c e r , Manannah, e s t a b l i s h e d i m p e r c e p t i b l e w a l l s around t h e i r abodes, so t h a t o n l y the gods might see and pass through them. F i n a l l y , as Y e a t s p o i n t s out, t h e Danaans "dwindled i n the p o p u l a r i m a g i n a t i o n " t o 13 become the S i d h e , and i t i s the S i d h e who assume a pre-eminent r o l e w i t h r e l a t i o n t o the Muse i n Y e a t s ' e a r l y v e r s e . As I mentioned p r e v i o u s l y , the M o r r i g u o r M o r r i g a n i s t h e goddess of war and death among the Tuatha De Danaan, and the I r i s h e q u i v a l e n t o f C e r r i d w e n . She embodies the type of the d e s t r u c t i v e female, t h e t h i r d f a c e t o f the Goddess, and i s always f i e r c e l y engaged i n t e r r i b l e b a t t l e , such as a t Magh T u i r e a d h , where "many s l i p p e d i n the b l o o d t h a t was under t h e i r f e e t , and they f e l l , s t r i k i n g t h e i r heads one a g a i n s t 6 14 a n o t h e r . " Here, the v i r u l e n t M o r r i g u "took the f u l l o f h e r two hands of Indech's b l o o d , and gave i t t o t h e armies t h a t were w a i t i n g a t the f o r d o f U n i u s ; and i t was c a l l e d the F o r d of D e s t r u c t i o n from t h a t day." L a t e r i n C u c h u l a i n ' s time, the M o r r i g u . c a u s e s much d i s s e n s i o n and war-f a r e : she f i g h t s C u c h u l a i n i n v a r i o u s shapes and, a t the g r e a t B a t t l e of t h e Brown B u l l o f Cualgne, i n c i t e s the o p p o s i n g ranks " l i k e a l e a n , 16 g r e y - h a i r e d hag." The d e s t r u c t i v e a s p e c t of the Goddess o f t e n assumes the form of a h i d e o u s c r o n e . Chapter IV i n Gods and F i g h t i n g Men i s devoted t o the stratagems of t h e M o r r i g u , and c h a p t e r V f o c u s e s upon A i n e , the Muse: "And as t o A i n e , t h a t some s a i d was t h e daughter of Manannan, but some s a i d was the M o r r i g u h e r s e l f , t h e r e was a s t o n e b e l o n g i n g t o h e r t h a t was c a l l e d C a t h a i r A i n e . And i f any one would s i t on t h a t s t o n e he would be i n danger of l o s i n g h i s w i t s . . . and she used t o g i v e g i f t s o f p o e t r y and of music, and she o f t e n gave h e r l o v e t o men, and they c a l l e d h e r the Leanan S i d h e , t h e Sweetheart of the S i d h e . " ^ Here, the Muse i s taken t o be t h e goddess o f death h e r s e l f , and t h e c h a p t e r emphasizes A i n e ' s m a l e v o l e n t , v e n g e f u l c h a r a c t e r i n a b r i e f r e l a t i o n o f how she caused the deaths of O i l i o l l and h i s seven sons a t Magh Mucruimhe. Graves a l s o mentions the c o r r e l a t i o n o f the two f i g u r e s . He p o i n t s out t h a t the Danaan goddess Ana o r Anan, a t i t l e o f Danu, has been i d e n t i f i e d w i t h the Munster moon-goddess A i n e ; i n h e r b e n e f i c e n t f o l e , Ana was the c r e a t o r o f the Danaans and goddess of p l e n t y , but i n h e r m a l i g n a s p e c t , was the p r o t a g o n i s t of the f a t e t r i n i t y , Ana, Babd and Macha, t o g e t h e r 18 known as the M o r r i g a n . Thus, the Sweetheart of the Sidhe and the gruesome M o r r i g u comprise the J a n u s - l i k e f a c e o f t h e Muse. Y e a t s makes a number of r e f e r e n c e s t o t h e Leanhaun Sid h e i n h i s c o l l e c t i o n s o f I r i s h t a l e s . In F a i r y and F o l k T a l e s of the I r i s h P e a s a n t r y , he speaks of the G a e l i c Muse who " g i v e s i n s p i r a t i o n t o those 19 she p e r s e c u t e s , and w i l l not l e t them remain l o n g on e a r t h , " and i n I r i s h F a i r y T a l e s he o b s e r v e s : "Her l o v e r s waste away f o r she l i v e s on t h e i r l i f e . Most of the G a e l i c p o e t s down to r e c e n t t i m e s , have had a Leanhaun Shee f o r she g i v e s i n s p i r a t i o n t o h e r s l a v e s and i s i n d e e d the G a e l i c M u s e — t h i s m a l i g n a n t f a i r y . Her l o v e r s , the G a e l i c p o e t s , d i e d 20 young." C l e a r l y , the White Goddess would s e r v e as the p r o t o t y p e f o r the I r i s h Muse, whose g i f t o f i n s p i r a t i o n and l o v e i s consumed by the d e a t h which she e x a c t s . Gods and F i g h t i n g Men and C u c h u l a i n of M u i r - themne f u r n i s h s e v e r a l examples o f the f e m i n i n e d u a l q u a l i t i e s ; f o r ex-ample, B r i g i t , who was worshipped by p o e t s , had one b e a u t i f u l and one 21 u g l y s i d e t o h e r f a c e and h e r name means " f i e r y arrow." A l s o a number of t h o s e queens r e p u t e d f o r t h e i r f a t a l i t y meet t o the l e t t e r G raves' d e s c r i p t i v e s t i p u l a t i o n s . E t a i n , f o r example, has the p r e s c r i b e d a t t r i -b u t e s , even t o the d e t a i l o f t h a t s t o c k analogy f o r t h e Goddess' l i p s — the rowan b e r r y : Her s o f t hands were as w h i t e as the snow o f a s i n g l e n i g h t , and h e r eyes as b l u e as any b l u e f l o w e r , and h e r l i p s as r e d as the b e r r i e s of the rowan-tree,.and h e r body as w h i t e as the foam o f a wave. The b r i g h t l i g h t of t h e moon was i n h e r face.22 However, f u r t h e r documentation i s s u p e r f l u o u s s i n c e Y e a t s ' a c q u a i n t a n c e w i t h the m y t h i c a l a r c h e t y p e i s s u f f i c i e n t l y c l e a r . 8 Y e a t s ' p r o s e r e v e a l s some c o n c e r n w i t h the type and w i t h the range of s i g n i f i c a n c e s i t a c c r u e s i n the w r i t i n g s o f o t h e r p o e t s . Y e a t s ' e s s a y , "On the P h i l o s o p h y o f S h e l l e y ' s P o e t r y , " i l l u s t r a t e s how the f i g u r e may be i n c o r p o r a t e d i n t o a f l e x i b l e s t r u c t u r e o f meaning t o t a l l y d i s t i n c t from G r a v e s ' t i g h t f o r m u l a , a l t h o u g h Y e a t s s t i l l a s s o c i a t e s the 23 f i g u r e w i t h i t s m y t h i c a l o r i g i n s and m y t h i c a l c o u n t e r p a r t s . Y e a t s ex-p l a i n s t h a t S h e l l e y a n i n s p i r a t i o n i s "a k i n d o f d e a t h " f o r i t e n t a i l s s e p a r a t i o n from t h e p a r t i c u l a r i t i e s o f time and p l a c e ; thus a symbol b o r n of t h a t i n s p i r a t i o n p a s s e s beyond death t o become "a l i v i n g s o u l . " I n s p i r a t i o n r e q u i r e s the p o e t ' s d e a t h t o the c o n c r e t e p a r t i c u l a r s o f e a r t h l y e x p e r i e n c e , and Y e a t s remarks t h a t t h i s d eath comes as a m i s t r e s s : H e a r d s t thou n o t , . t h a t t h o s e who d i e Awake i n a w o r l d of e c s t a s y ? That l o v e , when limbs a r e i n t e r w o v e n , And s l e e p , when t h e n i g h t o f l i f e i s c l o v e n , And thought, t o the w o r l d ' s dim b o u n d a r i e s c l i n g i n g , And music, when one b e l o v e d i s s i n g i n g , I s death? Death imaged as the music-tongued b e l o v e d i s n o t the d r e a d f u l p e n a l t y o f the White Goddess e x a c t e d through grim b a t t l e , b u t r a t h e r the gateway t o e c s t a s y . The p o e t ' s i n s p i r a t i o n prompts him to c r e a t e p o e t r y , but s i m -u l t a n e o u s l y i m p e ls him towards Romantic t r a n s c e n d e n c e , d e a t h . There i s an i m p l i e d p a r a l l e l between s e x u a l and a e s t h e t i c c r e a t i o n , and i n A 24 V i s i o n t h e two a r e u n i t e d i n Phase F i f t e e n . The death i n i n s p i r a t i o n e s t a b l i s h e s a new o r d e r o f r e a l i t y , when the poet w i l l " r i s e above the 25 o r d i n a r y n a t u r e o f man, fade b e f o r e our i m p e r f e c t o r i g i n s . " Y e a ts r e -gards S h e l l e y i n terms o f the poet and prophet who f o r e s e e s h i s own 9 death i n t o r a p t u r e ; Y e a t s adopts t h i s r o l e h i m s e l f i n The Wind among the  Reeds. Here, Y e a t s a v e r s t h a t o n l y death can y i e l d the poet f u l f i l m e n t , and t h i s s a t i s f a c t i o n i s d e s c r i b e d i n e r o t i c p h r a s i n g as the b e l o v e d , o f t e n t h e f a i r y m i s t r e s s . He a l s o e v i s i o n s doom and c a t a s t r o p h e f o r the w o r l d , a s s e r t i n g t h a t , as i n " A d o n a i s , " our u s u a l u n d e r s t a n d i n g of d e a t h and l i f e must be r e v e r s e d . Death i s t r a n s f i g u r a t i o n , b r i n g i n g the w o r l d e n r i c h e d l i f e , which Y e a t s d e s c r i b e s by analogy w i t h the a l c h e m i c a l t r a n s m u t a t i o n o f base m e t a l s i n t o g o l d . W o r l d l y r e g e n e r a t i o n f a c i l i t a t e d by the demise of the o l d o r d e r i s a l s o the c e n t r a l theme of Prometheus  Unbound; b o t h poets imagine t h a t a phoenix must a r i s e from.the ashes of d e s t r u c t i o n . Y e a t s sees the S h e l l e y a n d e a t h - i n - l i f e b e l o v e d as I n t e l l e c t u a l Beauty and a s s i g n s h e r a h o s t of e t h e r e a l a t t e n d a n t s from v a r i o u s c u l -t u r e s — t h e Devas o f the E a s t , the E l e m e n t a l S p i r i t s o f M e d i a e v a l Europe, and the S i d h e . In Y e a t s ' p o e t r y , the m y s t e r i o u s Sidhe seem s i m i l a r l y t o m i n i s t e r t o the Leanhaun Sidhe as they r i d e w i t h h e r i n t h e i r s w i f t , g l i t t e r i n g t h r o n g . They a r e the f l e e t i n g promise o f an i d e a l w o r l d and of the p e r f e c t i o n o f e s s e n c e , or i n Y e a t s ' terms the "gleams o f a r e -moter w o r l d which v i s i t us i n s l e e p , " " s p i r i t u a l e s s e n c e s whose shadows 26 are t h e d e l i g h t s o f a l l the s e n s e s . " Y e a t s ponders S h e l l e y ' s work among t h o s e p l a c e s haunted by t h e S i d h e — t h e Echtge h i l l s and S l i e v e na nOg, where the w o r l d ' s l a s t b a t t l e w i l l be f o u g h t . Thus, he j u x t a p o s e s the S h e l l e y a n p o e t i c ethos w i t h C e l t i c myth, commenting t h a t Prometheus Unbound " u t t e r s a f a i t h as s i m p l e and as a n c i e n t ^ a s t h e f a i t h o f t hose 27 c o u n t r y p e o p l e , i n a form s u i t e d t o a new age." The s u b s t a n c e of the 10 C e l t i c and S h e l l e y a n v i s i o n i s - t h e same, o n l y the t r a p p i n g s d i f f e r . One of Y e a t s ' m o t i v e s f o r t u r n i n g t o C e l t i c l o r e i s t h a t myth p l a c e s h i s p o e t r y w i t h i n the framework o f the p o p u l a r f o l k i m a g i n a t i o n , so t h a t he does not ex p r e s s a c l o s e d , p r i v a t e t r a n s c e n d e n c e . I n h i s P r e f a c e t o Gods and F i g h t i n g Men, Ye a t s v o i c e s the n e c e s s i t y f o r a "marriage o f t h e sun and moon" i n a r t ; t o the moon he a s c r i b e s the thoughts and emotions f a s h i o n e d by t h e community, f o l k songs i n v e n t e d by " s p i n n e r s and r e a p e r s out o f the common i m p u l s e , " and to the sun he 28 a s c r i b e s the i n d i v i d u a l i m p o s i t i o n o f a r t i s t i c d i s c i p l i n e and j o y . Y e a t s ' i n s i s t e n c e upon t h e u n i o n of the two f o r the f u n c t i o n i n g o f t h e a e s t h e t i c p r o c e s s p a r a l l e l s N i e t z s c h e ' s c o m b i n a t i o n o f A p o l l o n i a n and D i o n y s i a n p r i n c i p l e s i n c r e a t i v i t y , and t h e s e p r i n c i p l e s a r e a l s o a l i g n e d 29 w i t h s e x u a l c r e a t i o n . Thus, myth, imaged as t h e moon, p r o v i d e s the s o u r c e o f the a r t i s t i c p r o c e s s and i t s m a t i e r e i s shaped by the i n d i -v i d u a l poet and i n f u s e d w i t h j o y , a n t i c i p a t i n g " L a p i s L a z u l i . " I r i s h myth i s c l o s e l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the Muse and hence Y e a t s ' c o n c e r n i n the p o e t r y w i t h t h e C e l t i c o r G a e l i c Muse. In d i s c u s s i n g S h e l l e y a n symbolism, Yeats i n t e r p r e t s the moon image. I n i t i a l l y , he p o i n t s out t h a t the K e a t s i a n moon image r e p r e s e n t s I n t e l l e c t u a l Beauty and t h a t i t evoked p l e a s u r a b l e s e n s a t i o n s i n the mind of i t s c r e a t o r , whereas S h e l l e y pondered upon the moon w i t h a sense of w e a r i n e s s and t r o u b l e . He then u n f o l d s an a g g r e g a t i o n o f meanings r e -l a t i n g to the White Goddess f i g u r e . The moon i s the v e r y image o f change, and "As m i s t r e s s o f the waters she governs the l i f e o f i n s t i n c t and t h e g e n e r a t i o n o f t h i n g s , f o r , as Porp h y r y s a y s , even the 11 ' a p p a r i t i o n . o f images' i n the ' i m a g i n a t i o n ' i s through 'an excess o f 30 m o i s t u r e . ' " C l e a r l y , the moon governs p h y s i c a l and i m a g i n a t i v e gener-a t i o n and the f l u x o f d e s t i n y . Expanding upon h e r l a t t e r r o l e , he no t e s t h a t she p r e s i d e s over the " j o y l e s s i d l e d r i f t i n g " o f generated b e i n g s . Presumably, the moon e n v i s a g e d as the c o n t r o l l e r o f man's s h a p e l e s s , v a c i l l a t i n g f o r t u n e s provokes S h e l l e y ' s a l l e g e d m a l a i s e : S h e l l e y c e l e -b r a t e s o r d e r e d permanence, r e l e g a t i n g e x i s t e n c e t o a c u r s e i n "Ado n a i s , " whereas K e a t s ' l o v e o f "embodied t h i n g s , " o f "emotions made s l e e p y by the f l e s h " ( t o use Y e a t s ' t e r m s ) , e x p l a i n s h i s p l e a s u r a b l e a c c e p t a n c e of the image. Y e a t s h i m s e l f seems t o p r e s e r v e b o t h r e s p o n s e s i n much of h i s p o e t r y . He a s s i g n s f u r t h e r s i g n i f i c a n c e s to the image s a y i n g t h a t the moon, m i s t r e s s o f f a t e , may a l s o be t h e mother o f God, o r may v i s i t men i n t h e i r e x p e r i e n c e o f j o y as i n Endymion, o r "she may deny l i f e and shoot h e r arrows." As t h e s o v e r e i g n o f a l l e a r t h l y v i c i s s i t u d e , she g i v e s l i f e and j o y , m e l a n c h o l y and d e a t h . She i s the s o u r c e and f i n a l d e s t i n a -t i o n o f a l l phenomena, as she i s the p o e t ' s s t i m u l u s and f i n a l d e s t i n y . Other meanings a r e n o t e d , but Yeats does not c o n s i d e r them e x h a u s t i v e , s i n c e t h e moon i s t h e "most changeable o f symbols" and s i n c e any symbol's v a l u e seems i n v o l v e d w i t h i t s P r o t e a n c h a n g e a b i l i t y t h a t cannot be r e -duced t o a pr o s e l i s t i n g . In the e s s a y , Y e ats r e p e a t s h i s view o f the m u l t i p l i c i t y of p o s s i b l e s i g n i f i c a n c e s e n c l o s e d w i t h i n a s i n g l e image. He c o n s i d e r s imagery t o be "enwoven w i t h many r i c h t h r e a d s " and many "dim meanings," and e x p l a i n s t h e important purpose o f i t s m u l t i - f a c e t e d n a t u r e : " I t i s o n l y by a n c i e n t symbols, by symbols t h a t have numberless 12 meanings b e s i d e s the one or two the w r i t e r l a y s an emphasis upon, o r the h a l f - s c o r e he knows o f , t h a t any h i g h l y s u b j e c t i v e a r t can escape from the b a r r e n n e s s and s h a l l o w n e s s of a too c o n s c i o u s arrangement, i n t o the 31 abundance and depth of n a t u r e . " T h i s s y m b o l i c t h e o r y u n d e r s c o r e s a major d i s t i n c t i o n between Grav e s ' and Y e a t s ' view of the Goddess: the one t r e a t s h e r as a r i g i d f o r m u l a , whereas the o t h e r c l o t h e s h e r i n a v a r i e t y o f complex forms, towards which he e v i n c e s an e q u a l v a r i e t y o f complex a t t i t u d e s . Hoffman p o i n t s out t h a t a l t h o u g h Graves' o b s e s s i o n w i t h h i s i n v i o l a b l e f o r m u l a i n i t i a l l y l i b e r a t e d and shaped h i s c r e a t i v e 32 e n e r g i e s , i t f i n a l l y became a P r o c r u s t e a n bed. No such t h e m a t i c r e d u c -t i o n i s p o s s i b l e i n Y e a t s ' work because of h i s own p a r t i c u l a r o b s e s s i o n — t h e p o e t ' s c r a f t . Thus, Y e a t s ' Muse has the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c e x c e l l e n c e of b e i n g a many-coloured and changing image, and one of the i n t e n t i o n s of my a n a l y s i s i s t o i n d i c a t e t h e s u b t l e v i t a l i t y and v a r i o u s n e s s of Y e a t s ' c o n c e p t i o n of the f i g u r e . The Muse a r c h e t y p e p o s s e s s e s b o l d , s c u l p t u r e d meanings and i n d e t e r m i n a t e , dim nuances, which shade g r a d u a l l y " i n t o the abundance and depth of n a t u r e . " A secondary aim of t h i s s t u d y i s to c o n c e n t r a t e upon the m y t h i c a l a s s o c i a t i o n s of t h e f i g u r e , f o r Y e a t s o f t e n p r e s e r v e s t h e o r i g i n a l myth-o l o g i c a l names and f e a t u r e s . In the e a r l y p o e t r y , Niamh and the band o f the Sidhe a r e p r o t a g o n i s t s , and Yeats o f t e n r e t a i n s the m y t h i c a l v o r a c i t y o f the Goddess, as i n "The Rose of the World" where n a t i o n s a r e p r e c i p i t a t e d i n t o r u i n and b l o o d s h e d by the l a n g u i d , i n e x o r a b l e b e a u t i e s of D e i r d r e and H e l e n . T h i s v o r a c i t y i s a l l i e d w i t h n o t i o n s o f Romantic t r a n s c e n d e n c e , and w i t h the a t t r i b u t i o n o f i n d i v i d u a l , even humane a s p e c t s . 13 The m u l t i p l e e x p r e s s i o n s o f t h e m y t h i c a l a r c h e t y p e of t h e White Goddess i n Y e a t s ' p o e t r y d e f i n e s the s p e c i f i c a r e a of my i n t e r e s t . A p a r t i c u l a r a n g l e of approach i s e s p e c i a l l y i m p o r t a n t s i n c e the p r e s e n c e o f t h e femme f a t a l e i n Y e a t s ' work i s s e l f - e v i d e n t and i s e s t a b l i s h e d i n c r i t i c a l o p i n i o n . Frank Kermode, f o r example, d i s c u s s e s Y e a t s ' f i g u r e o f Salome as the "Romantic Image," the s y m b o l i c dance f o r which the c o s t 33 i s human s a c r i f i c e . He i l l u s t r a t e s the p r e c e d e n t s f o r the f i g u r e i n t h e S y m b o l i s t and A e s t h e t i c Movements. W h i l s t d e v e l o p i n g the f u l l com-p l e x i t y o f the a e s t h e t i c i m p l i c a t i o n s o f the H e r o d i a d e , he seems unnec-e s s a r i l y c r i t i c a l about i t s c l o s e a s s o c i a t i o n w i t h m y t h i c a l C e l t i c d o m , even though Y e a t s s u s t a i n s t h i s a s s o c i a t i o n w i t h such e v i d e n t and c a r e f u l d e s i g n : ". . . the c o n t a m i n a t i o n of Salome by f a i r i e s p e r s i s t e d i n Y e a t s ' s mind, and, a p p e a r i n g from time t o t i m e , b u r s t out f l o u r i s h i n g i n the 34 l a s t y e a r s , when he dwelt much upon h i s own m y t h o l o g i e s . " Bloom sim -i l a r l y d i s m i s s e s the " C e l t i c m y t h o l o g i c a l baggage" of The Wind among the 35 Reeds. T h e r e f o r e , I hope t o emphasize t h a t the C e l t i c m y t h o l o g i c a l symbolism and a l l u s i o n a r e a l e g i t i m a t e and i n t e g r a t e d p a r t o f Y e a t s ' v i s i o n , not the d e c o r a t i v e appurtenances, which a r e merely t o l e r a b l e . The White Goddess, the Leanhaun S i d h e , i s a prominent image i n Y e a t s ' p o e t r y and i s d e l i n e a t e d as a s h i f t i n g , v a r i o u s f i g u r e . In the e a r l y p o e t r y , she i s the f a i r y o f s e d u c t i v e , a t times d e c e i t f u l , and a t times a p o c a l y p t i c v i s i o n . Her p o r t r a y a l agrees w i t h the orthodox concept of i n s p i r a t i o n as a k i n d of v i s i t a t i o n , and she remains e x t e r n a l to the poet e i t h e r because h e r p r e s e n c e assumes the form o f an advent from a t r a n s c e n d e n t r e a l m o r because she i s a s e p a r a t e i d e n t i t y i n t h e f i n i t e 14 w o r l d , namely Maud Gonne. F i n a l l y , the Muse i s e n v i s a g e d as the wrought a r t e f a c t o f the p o e t ' s i n t e n s i v e l a b o u r , a t t a i n e d o n l y t h r o u g h l a b o r i o u s e f f o r t and not through i n s t a n t a n e o u s v i s i o n . 15 NQTES "*"C. G. Jung, Modern. Man i n Se a r c h of a S o u l , t r a n s . W. S. D e l l and Cary F. Baynes (1933; r p t . New York: H a r c o u r t , Brace & World, n . d . ) , pp. 152-72. 2 Jung, p. 170. 3 Robert G r a v e s , The White Goddess (1948; r p t . London: Faber and Faber, 1962). 4 Graves, pp. 9-10. ^Graves, p. 70. Graves, p. 67. ^Graves, p. 24. g See Graves' comment i n The Crowning P r i v i l e g e (London: C a s s e l & Co., 1955: "Yeats had a new t e c h n i q u e , b u t n o t h i n g t o s a y , u n l e s s one counts the l i t e r a r y b a l l a d s w r i t t e n f o r the I r i s h War o f L i b e r a t i o n . I n -s t e a d o f t h e Muse, he employs a V e n t r i l o q u i s t ' s dummy c a l l e d C r a z y Jane. But s t i l l he had n o t h i n g t o say. What w i l l a poor countryman do i f he has no sheep of h i s own and b a d l y needs a warm w a i s t c o a t ? He w i l l go out w i t h a bag i n t o h i s n e i g h b o u r ' s f i e l d s and c o l l e c t s t r a n d s o f wool from hedges and brambles. T h i s Y e a t s d i d . " H e r e a f t e r a l l r e f e r e n c e s t o Graves w i l l be t o The White Goddess. 9 D a n i e l Hoffman, Barbarous Knowledge: Myth i n the P o e t r y of Y e a t s , Graves, and M i i i r (1967; r p t . New York: O x f o r d U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1970), p. 200. ^ G r a v e s , p. 143. '''''"Peter A l l t and R u s s e l K. A l s p a c h . The "Variorum E d i t i o n of t h e  Poems o f W. B. Ye a t s (New York: M a c m i l l a n , 1957), pp. 796, 800. Graves c o n s i d e r s the Danaans t o p o s s e s s an h i s t o r i c a l o r i g i n , i d e n t i f y i n g them as the Bronze Age P e l a s g i a n s who in v a d e d I r e l a n d . The P e l a s g i a n s had worshipped the pre-Achaean goddess, Danae, whom Graves equates w i t h the mother-goddess o f the Aegean, Danuna. (p. 6 4 ) . 12 Lady Gregory, Gods and F i g h t i n g Men (1904; r p t . London: Murray, 1919), p. 2. 13 W. B. Y e a t s , I r i s h F a i r y and F o l k T a l e s (New York: Modern L i b -r a r y , n . d . ) , p. 1. 16 14 Gods and F i g h t i n g Men, p. 58. "*"^Gods and F i g h t i n g Men, p. 59. 16 Lady Gregory, C u c h u l a i n of Muirthemne (1902; r p t . London: Murray, 1903), p. 262. "^Gods and F i g h t i n g Men, p. 86. "^Graves, p . 370 . 19 W. B. Y e a t s , I r i s h F a i r y and F o l k T a l e s of the I r i s h P e a s a n t r y , (London: W a l t e r S c o t t , 1888), p. 81. 20 W. B. Y e a t s , I r i s h F a i r y T a l e s (London: T. F i s h e r Unwin), p. 230. See a l s o I r i s h F a i r y and F o l k T a l e s , p. 86. 21 Gods and F i g h t i n g Men, p. 2. 22 Gods and F i g h t i n g Men, p. 91. 23 W. B. Y e a t s , E s s a y s and I n t r o d u c t i o n s (1961; r p t . London: M a c m i l l a n , 1969), pp. 65-95. 24 W. B. Y e a t s , A V i s i o n (London: M a c m i l l a n , 1937), pp. 135-37. H. H. V e n d l e r examines the c o r r e l a t i o n of the s e x u a l and a e s t h e t i c p r i n -c i p l e s i n Y e a t s ' s V i s i o n and the L a t e r P l a y s (Cambridge, M a s s a c h u s e t t s : H a r v a r d U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1963), pp. 22-23. 25„ 26 27 28 W. B. Y e a t s , P r e f a c e i n Gods and F i g h t i n g Men, pp. x i x - x x i . 29 John Quinn had i n t r o d u c e d Y e a t s t o N i e t z s c h e ' s works i n 1901. Y e a t s r e a d them i n t e n s i v e l y d u r i n g the p e r i o d 1902-3, and i t i s thus p r o b a b l e t h a t The B i r t h o f Tragedy d i r e c t l y i n f l u e n c e d the 1904 P r e f a c e . 30 E s s a y s and I n t r o d u c t i o n s , p. 91. 31 F s s a y s and I n t r o d u c t i o n s , p. 87. 32 Hoffman, p. 219. 33 Frank Kermode, The Romantic Image (1957; r p t . London: Routledge and Kegan P a u l , 1957), pp. 74-76. Of c o u r s e , t h e r e a r e m u l t i p l e approaches 'Essays and I n t r o d u c t i o n s . r E s s a y s and I n t r o d u c t i o n s , 17 p o s s i b l e to the femme f a t a l e theme and m u l t i p l e s o u r c e s which c o u l d be examined. C r i t i c s have c i t e d a d i v e r s i t y of i n f l u e n c e s r a n g i n g from t h e f a t a l women of E l i z a b e t h a n t r a g e d y t o the d e a t h l y e n c h a n t r e s s e s of the Romantic and P r e - R a p h a e l i t e p o e t s . M a r i o P r a z ' s The Romantic Agony, t r a n s . Angus Da v i d s o n (London: O x f o r d U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1954) adopts an e n t i r e l y d i f f e r e n t approach t o the m a n i f e s t a t i o n o f the femme f a t a l e i n the n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y , s t u d y i n g the p a t h o l o g i c a l a s p e c t s o f the t y p e , t h e l o v e l y Medusa. My emphasis i s p r i m a r i l y upon i t s m y t h o l o g i c a l d e r i -v a t i o n and i t s m y t h o l o g i c a l e x p r e s s i o n or a s s o c i a t i o n s i n Y e a t s ' v e r s e . 34 Kermode, p. 75. H a r o l d Bloom, Y e a t s (New York: Oxfo r d U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1970), p. 122. CHAPTER I I THE CALL OF THE SIDHE i In a c e l e b r a t e d and abused l e t t e r t o K a t h e r i n e Tynan, Y e a t s says t h a t h i s e a r l y p o e t r y i s "almost a l l a f l i g h t i n t o f a i r y l a n d from the r e a l w o r l d , and a summons to t h a t f l i g h t . . . . I t i s not a p o e t r y o f i n s i g h t and knowledge, but o f l o n g i n g and c o m p l a i n t — - t h e c r y of the h e a r t a g a i n s t necessity.""'" C r i t i c a l o p i n i o n has u s u a l l y a c c e p t e d Y e a t s ' comment as c a n o n i c a l and i n v e s t e d i t w i t h the t r a d i t i o n a l opprobrium t h a t seems t o a t t a c h t o t h e terms " f l i g h t " and " f a i r y l a n d . " R ajan and L e n t r i c c h i a do p o i n t t o a m b i g u i t i e s i n f a i r y l a n d : L e n t r i c c h i a a c u t e l y o b s e r v e s t h a t " Y e a t s ' d e t e r m i n i s t i c c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of the e m p i r i c a l 2 w o r l d as ' n e c e s s i t y ' s u g g e s t s t h a t he was shaped by what he so d e t e s t e d , " w h i l s t Rajan comments "The dream haunts the w o r l d , and the w o r l d the 3 dream; man, b e i n g man, can make no l a s t i n g c h o i c e between them." Y e t b o t h f i n a l l y o r i e n t a t e towards the c o n v e n t i o n a l judgement, f i n d i n g t h e e a r l y works u n s a t i s f a c t o r y because the c o n t r a r i e s o f t h e dream and r e a l w o r l d s a r e "both subdued and a e s t h e t i c a l l y i n e f f e c t i v e . " ^ However, un-l e s s p o e t r y i s t o have a p r e s c r i b e d c o n t e n t , t h e f a i r y l a n d theme cannot i n i t s e l f be censured; f u r t h e r , i t does not s e r v e as an ornament of Y e a t s ' y o u t h f u l escapism, b u t b e a r s m u l t i p l e s i g n i f i c a n c e s . I t s r e l a t i o n t o t h e human phenomenal w o r l d i s f r e q u e n t l y more e q u i v o c a l than c r i t i c s s u g g e s t , 19 and the h a u n t i n g summons of the E n c h a n t r e s s of the S i d h e , the C e l t i c Muse, i n t o s u p e r n a t u r e i s f r a u g h t w i t h a m b i g u i t y . The S i d h e ' s c a l l r e s o n a t e s through Y e a t s ' f i r s t t h r e e volumes, Crossways, The Rose and The Wind among the Reeds; i t i s the c a l l o f the B e l o v e d of t h e Sidhe or o t h e r f a i r y d e n i z e n s . I mentioned i n th e f i r s t c h a p t e r t h a t the S i d h e a r e the f a i r y f o l k , the d i m i n u t i v e forms of the Tuatha De Danaan,. as Y e a t s e a g e r l y e x p l a i n s i n v a r i o u s contexts."* D u r i n g t h e i r f l e e t i n g passage through the m o r t a l w o r l d , t h e Sidhe purpose t o l u r e t h e poet t o t h e i r i s l a n d beyond the ravages of sorrow, c o n f l i c t and change. The C e l t i c Muse i s prominent among t h i s l e g e n d a r y t h r o n g , who appear to be her r e t i n u e . In "The P h i l o s o p h y of S h e l l e y ' s P o e t r y , " Y e a t s mentions t h a t the S i d h e a r e t h e " m i n i s t e r i n g s p i r i t s " o f I n t e l l e c t u a l Beauty, a m i s t r e s s whose enjoyment means the p o e t ' s d e a t h . The Muse i s n o t d e s c r i b e d as a m y t h o l o g i c a l s t e r e o t y p e , but i s a s s i g n e d chequered, s h i f t i n g r o l e s and a t t r i b u t e s . The theme of the s e d u c t i o n of a m o r t a l by a f a i r y e n c h a n t r e s s i s common i n C e l t i c l i t e r a t u r e and myth.^ I t p r o v i d e s the c o n t r o l l i n g s t r u c t u r e f o r "The Wanderings of O i s i n , " Y e a t s ' f i r s t major poem. Yeats adopted the s t o r y from a number of p r o s e and p o e t i c v e r s i o n s of the O i s i n l e g e n d , p r i n c i p a l l y M i c h a e l Comyn's "The Lay of O i s i n on the Land g of Y o u t h . " Though Y e a t s u t i l i z e s e s t a b l i s h e d f e a t u r e s of t h i s s t o r y , he r e c o n s t r u c t s the n a r r a t i v e p a t t e r n w i t h many i n n o v a t o r y d e s c r i p t i v e and n a r r a t i v e d e t a i l s i n o r d e r t o convey h i s own p a r t i c u l a r a e s t h e t i c i n -t e n t i o n . At the b e g i n n i n g o f "The Wanderings of O i s i n , " O i s i n r e l a t e s how 20 " p e a r l - p a l e " Niamh c o n f r o n t e d the F e n i a n h u n t i n g - p a r t y a t t h e sea's v e r g e . Niamh's p i c t o r i a l a t t r i b u t e s b e s t e x e m p l i f y the White Goddess i n the whole of the Y e a t s i a n canon and a r e d r a m a t i c a l l y v i v i d : And found on t h e dove-grey edge of the s e a A p e a r l - p a l e , h i g h - b o r n l a d y , who rode On a h o r s e w i t h b r i d l e o f f i n d r i n n y ; And l i k e a s u n s e t were h e r l i p s , A stormy s u n s e t on doomed s h i p s ; A c i t r o n c o l o u r gloomed i n h e r h a i r , But down to h e r f e e t w h i t e v e s t u r e f l o w e d , And w i t h t h e glimmering c r i m s o n glowed Of many a f i g u r e d embroidery. The o r n a t e and s i n i s t e r d e s c r i p t i o n o f Niamh on h e r w h i t e h o r s e s e t a g a i n s t the shadowy mar g i n o f the s e a conveys h e r d e s t r u c t i v e b e a u t y , the f a t a l i t y o f h e r a t t r a c t i o n . O i s i n i m m e d i a t e l y a c c l a i m s her as be-l o v e d and v o u c h s a f e s t h a t she w i l l i n s p i r e the c r e a t i o n o f h i s p o e t r y , become h i s Muse: "'And I w i l l make a thousand songs /And s e t your name a l l names above.'" Her d e s t r u c t i v e r o l e i s e v i d e n t , not i n t h a t she e f f e c t s O i s i n ' s a c t u a l d e a t h , but r a t h e r h i s death t o human e x p e r i e n c e , t o h i s e x i s t e n c e i n t h a t p r e s e n t , contemporary s o c i e t y ; she e n t i c e s him away from h i s companions-at-arms, the r i c h l y - c h e r i s h e d F e n i a n s and the g l o r i e s o f t h e pagan w o r l d . She causes h i s s e p a r a t i o n from t h e human c o n d i t i o n : "But we rode out from the human l a n d s . " Grossman e x p l a i n s the a e s t h e t i c S y m b o l i s t p r o c e s s which O i s i n ' s d e p a r t u r e r e p r e s e n t s : i n c u l -m i n a t i n g h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p t o the Muse, the poet w r i t e s a poem which "must, as i t approaches c l o s e r and c l o s e r t o c r e a t i v e r e a l i z a t i o n , d e s t r o y i t -9 s e l f i n r e l a t i o n t o t i m e . " As t h e p o e t consummates e x p r e s s i o n of the c r e a t i v e i m p u l s e , he becomes i n c r e a s i n g l y remote from t h e temporal f l u x ; 21 the Leanhaun Sidhe consumes the p o e t ' s l i f e through i n s p i r i n g h i s p o e t i c f u l f i l m e n t . As Y e a t s says i n h i s e s s a y on S h e l l e y , i n s p i r a t i o n i s a k i n d o f d e a t h through which the poet t r a n s c e n d s the p a r t i c u l a r i t y o f time and p l a c e . ^ When O i s i n f i n a l l y r e t u r n s , he i s p r e t e r n a t u r a l l y aged and c l o s e t o d e a t h ; h i s companions and the e n t i r e r e g a l pageant of the pagan w o r l d have passed away t o be r e p l a c e d by the a l i e n , weak, " p r a y e r f u l " C h r i s t i a n i t y . The n a t u r e of r e a l i t y has i r r e v o c a b l y changed, and O i s i n can o n l y w a i t f o r impending p h y s i c a l d e a t h . The d i a l o g u e between O i s i n and P a t r i c k i n d i c a t e s t h a t b o t h are aware of the d e s t r u c t i v e n e s s of Niamh's l o v e . In terms of the poem's a r t i f i c e , O i s i n e x p r e s s e s the c o l o u r f u l d e s c r i p t i o n of Niamh, showing h i s r e c o g n i t i o n of the ambivalence of the S i d h e ' s l o v e . The b a r d , O i s i n , r e g i s t e r s t h e a n t i n o m i c v a l u e s i n h e r e n t i n the t r a n s c e n d i n g p r o -c e s s e s of th e i m a g i n a t i o n , whereas the s a i n t , P a t r i c k , sees O i s i n ' s pagan l o v e s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d l y as a d e s t r u c t i v e e v i l — a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c view of m o n i s t i c C h r i s t i a n i t y . The o p p o s i t i o n p r e f i g u r e s the d i a l o g u e between the poet w i t h h i s u n c h r i s t e n e d h e a r t and von Hugel i n " V a c i l l a t i o n . " P a t r i c k p i c k s up O i s i n ' s image of the doomed s h i p s and a p p l i e s i t d i r e c t l y t o O i s i n ' s d e s t r u c t i o n through the l u r e s o f pagandom: "You a r e s t i l l wrecked among heathen dreams," which r e p l a c e s the o r i g i n a l limp r e j o i n d e r : " O i s i n , thou a r t h a l f heathen s t i l l ! T h e image may evoke the f a c e t h a t l a u n c h e d a thousand s h i p s - H e l e n , who became one of Y e a t s ' p r e -eminent symbols f o r the White Goddess. The moon as a c o n t r o l l i n g image i n Niamh's r e a l m s u g g e s t s another f a c e t o f t h e White Goddess c o n f i g u r a t i o n o f r o l e s and symbols. Niamh 22 a l l u d e s t o the l a n d where she w i l l be "when the w h i t e moon c l i m b s " and they j o u r n e y towards the s e t t i n g sun, as i n a l l C e l t i c q u e s t s i n t o the 12 O t h e r w o r l d . I t i s a l a n d o f m o o n l i t p a g e a n t r y , where the moon i n always M l i k e a w h i t e r o s e . " Y e a t s perhaps r e f e r s t o t h e r o s e as s y m b o l i c of I r e l a n d (Mangan's "Dark R o s a l e e n " ) , foreshadowing h i s l a t e r i n v o c a t i o n of the r o s e as C e l t i c Muse i n The Rose. C e r t a i n l y , O i s i n e x p e r i e n c e s an e x c l u s i v e l y C e l t i c t r a n s c e n d e n c e , f o r the Immortals throw away the harp on which he performed human songs and he adopts t h e i r Danaan measures. O i s i n ' s s o j o u r n i n the Land of the L i v i n g t e r m i n a t e s w i t h a Danaan Song, r e j o i c i n g i n permanency u n t i l the forms o f n a t u r e i t s e l f d i s s o l v e , and u n t i l "the moon l i k e a p a l e r o s e w i t h e r [ s ] away." The e l u s i v e monotone ( p r o b a b l y , the demon's v o i c e ) s i n g s of the moon's d e s t r u c t i v e c a p a c i t y at the t r a n s i t i o n between the i s l a n d o f c o n f l i c t ( o f V i c t o r i e s ) and t h e i s l a n d o f p r e t e r n a t u r a l age and s l e e p : 'I h e a r my s o u l drop down i n t o decay, And Manannan's dark tower, s t o n e a f t e r s t o n e , Gather s e a - s l i m e and f a l l the seaward way, And the moon goad the waters n i g h t and day, That a l l be overthrown. 'But t i l l t h e moon has taken a l l , I wage War on the m i g h t i e s t men under the s k i e s , And t h e y have f a l l e n o r f l e d , age a f t e r age.' These f a c t o r s t r a n s f o r m what appears a wan, a b s t r a c t Niamh i n t o a complex, r i c h l y - p a t t e r n e d f i g u r e , c l e a r l y more s u b s t a n t i a l than "the 13 shadows t h a t p e o p l e the Howth t h i c k e t , " though p o s s e s s i n g a d r e a m - l i k e enchantment which e m b e l l i s h e s , r a t h e r than d e t r a c t s from, h e r a p p e a l . A l l t h e s e r o l e s and q u a l i t i e s a r e geared t o h e r r e l a t i o n s h i p t o the p o e t , 23 O i s i n , which r e q u i r e s a n a l y s i s f o r Niamh's f u l l importance t o be e l i c -i t e d . Niamh sought out O i s i n because of h i s renown as b o t h w a r r i o r and p o e t . O i s i n i m m e d i a t e l y a c c e p t s h e r o f f e r , h a v i n g f a l l e n i n t o t h e "des-p e r a t e g u l f o f l o v e " ; O i s i n ' s image and i t s e p i t h e t suggest t h e f a t a l i t y o f h i s i n f a t u a t i o n . I n i t i a l l y , O i s i n o n l y renounces the human r e a l m as the s u b j e c t f o r h i s p o e t r y ; he i n t e n d s t o p r e s e r v e t h e s o c i a l and m i l i t a r y a l l e g i a n c e s t o h i s c h e r i s h e d F e n i a n s . Thus, he promises Niamh the s p o i l s o f e a r t h l y b a t t l e , b u t she e n j o i n s t o t a l commitment. Her demand i s analogous t o the T e n n y s o n i a n V i v i e n ' s "Love me not a t a l l o r a l l i n a l l " ; M e r l i n ' s f i n a l s u r r e n d e r t o h e r e x a c t i o n causes h i s permanent sep-a r a t i o n from t h e A r t h u r i a n w o r l d . Graves views t h i s t y r a n n i c a l i n j u n c t i o n as t y p i c a l o f the White Goddess; c l e a r l y , the Leahaun Sidhe i n s i s t s upon i t s i n c e she i s f i n a l l y s a t i s f i e d o n l y w i t h the p o e t ' s d e a t h . O i s i n a c c e p t s Niamh's terms and, mounting the h o r s e of the S i d h e , r i d e s i n t o the b r i l l i a n t l y w h i t e Danaan rea l m , which comprises t h r e e i s l a n d s — - t h e Land of the L i v i n g ( o f Y o u t h ) , of V i c t o r i e s and o f F o r g e t f u l n e s s . The m o t i f o f the t h r e e i s l a n d s c o n s t i t u t e s a s i g n i f i c a n t d e p a r t u r e from a l l p r e v i o u s v e r s i o n s o f the O i s i n l e g e n d . Yeats e x p l a i n s i n an accompanying no t e t h a t the G a e l i c poems do not r e c o r d O i s i n ' s j o u r n e y t o more than one i s l a n d , but t h a t "a s t o r y i n S i l v a G a d e l i c a d e s c r i b e s ' f o u r p a r a d i s e s , ' an i s l a n d t o the n o r t h , an i s l a n d t o the west, an i s l a n d to the s o u t h , 14 and Adam's p a r a d i s e i n the e a s t . " However, S i l v a G a d e l i c a was not pub-l i s h e d u n t i l t h r e e y e a r s a f t e r The Wanderings of O i s i n and Other Poems and cannot be r e g a r d e d as a s o u r c e . Y e a t s i s t a i l o r i n g the myth to 24 accommodate h i s own a e s t h e t i c i n t e n t i o n , which i s d i s c e r n i b l e d e s p i t e the a l l e g e d " s e c r e t symbols." The f i r s t i s l a n d i s one of p e r p e t u a l y o u t h , l o v e and j o y , where Immortals c a r o u s e i n e n d l e s s song and dance. The second i s l a n d i s the a r e n a o f p e r p e t u a l c o n f l i c t , o f the m a t u r i t y of v i c t o r i o u s achievement f o l l o w i n g y o u t h f u l r e v e l r y . Here, a t s u n s e t O i s i n c a s t s h i s demonic opponent's c a r c a s s i n t o the waves, but the demon's l i f e i s r e s t o r e d e v e r y f o u r t h day f o r he can s u f f e r o n l y a d e a t h l e s s death i n an immortal w o r l d . L a s t l y , Y e a t s p o r t r a y s the I s l a n d o f F o r g e t f u l n e s s , a r e a l m of dreaming age, o f T i t h o n i c i m m o r t a l i t y , i n h a b i t e d by w h i t e , p r e t e r n a t u r a l l y aged g i a n t s i who were "Weary w i t h p a s s i o n s t h a t faded when the s e v e n f o l d seas were young." The w h i t e n e s s o f p e a r l - p a l e Niamh i s superceded by "aged w h i t e n e s s , " r e f l e c t i n g the changing s i g n i f i c a n c e o f the c o l o u r o f the p o e t ' s v i s i o n . Y e a t s seems to have i s o l a t e d and transmuted the t h r e e p r i n c i p a l s t a g e s of human p r o c e s s : the p e r i o d of joyous y o u t h and l o v e , o f mature c o n f l i c t and o f s o m n a m b u l i s t i c decrepitude."'""' The Muse has l e d the poet through the g l a s s i n t o the permanent t a b l e a u x of images of human p r o c e s s embodied i n m y t h i c a l a r c h e t y p e s , or i n P l a t o n i c terms, i n t o the r e a l m of e s s e n c e , the unchanging r e a l i t y beneath the i n e x o r a b l e f l u x . L e n t r i c c h i a has p o i n t e d out t h a t a d i s t i n c t i v e f e a t u r e of the e a r l y p o e t r y i s i t s " t r a n s p a r e n c y , " f o r "poet and poem l o o k i n t o a w o r l d of 16 e s s e n c e . " Y e a t s ' symbolism, h i s a r c h e t y p a l p a t t e r n , i s the m a n i f e s t a -t i o n of p o e t i c v i s i o n , which e n a b l e s him t o r e p r e s e n t "what a c t u a l l y e x i s t s , r e a l l y or unchangeably.""^ S t r a n g e l y , however, the poet f i n d s the t h r e e dimensions of the 25 t r a n s c e n d e n t v i s i o n i n s u f f i c i e n t . Each one hundred y e a r s o j o u r n i s t e r -minated by O i s i n ' s e n c o u n t e r i n g some reminder o f the m o r t a l w o r l d : a s t a f f from a dead w a r r i o r ' s l a n c e , a beech-bough r e c a l l i n g the Almhuin beech, and a f a l l e n s t a r l i n g l i k e t h o s e a t h i s F e n i a n morning f o r a y w i t h B ran, S c e o l a n and L o m a i r . None of the t h r e e i s l a n d s can compensate O i s i n f o r the l o s s of the human w o r l d so t h a t f i n a l l y he would welcome even human f l a w s and weaknesses; even Conan's s l a n d e r o u s tongue would be "sweet." Thus, Niamh r e a l i z e s t h a t she must l o s e O i s i n : "'0 wandering O i s i n , the s t r e n g t h of the b e l l - b r a n c h i s naught, /For t h e r e moves a l i v e i n y our f i n g e r s the f l u t t e r i n g sadness of e a r t h . ' " Graves mentions t h a t the b e l l - b r a n c h was c a r r i e d by the s a c r e d p o e t s of I r e l a n d , the o l l a v e s , i n honour of t h e i r t r i p l e - g o d d e s s , B r i g i t , and i s t h e r e f o r e the i n s i g n i a f o r p o e t i c o f f i c e . In Y e a t s ' "The D e d i c a t i o n to a Book of S t o r i e s S e l -e c t e d from the I r i s h N o v e l i s t s , " the b e l l - b r a n c h c l e a r l y s y m b o l i z e s the I r i s h gleeman's c a l l i n g . S i n c e i t s f r u i t i n d u c e s "inhuman s l e e p , " Bloom i n t e r p r e t s the b e l l - b r a n c h as an emblem of what i t e f f e c t s — s u p e r -18 n a t u r a l s l e e p , but i t i s r a t h e r a symbol of the p o e t i c c a l l i n g which t r a n s p o r t s the poet i n t o the inhuman dream of a r t . Dreaming i s c o r r e l a t e d w i t h the p o e t i c p r o c e s s f o r Y e a t s , and the eyes of the c r e a t u r e s o f F o r g e t f u l n e s s a r e " d u l l w i t h the smoke of t h e i r dreams." When they sway the b e l l - b r a n c h , the music of i t s t i n k l i n g b e l l s l u l l s O i s i n i n t o dreams, b o t h L e t h e a n and C e l t i c : And by,me, i n s o f t r a i m e n t , the F e n i a n s moved i n l o u d streams, And G r a n i a , w a l k i n g and s m i l i n g , sewed w i t h h e r n e e d l e of bone. 26 So l i v e d I and l i v e d n o t , so wrought I and wrought n o t , w i t h c r e a t u r e s of dreams. The Muse has borne him i n t o the w o r l d of C e l t i c m y t h i c a l a r c h e t y p e s , of the f i n i s h e d , complete forms of l o v e , war and age, but has b e r e f t him o f o r d i n a r y human sorrow,-which Niamh images as a b i r d , a l i v e , immediate, t a n g i b l e , i n O i s i n ' s hands. Niamh's l o v e has e n a b l e d him to p e n e t r a t e beyond, but to l o s e i r r e v o c a b l y , the common l o t of man. The c o n t r a r i e s of the human and f a i r y domains are p o i g n a n t l y s u s t a i n e d ; and f o l l o w i n g O i s i n ' s r e t u r n to the d i s m a l e a r t h , h i s v a l e d i c t o r y r e s o l v e i s never to f o r s a k e h i s companions a g a i n , d e c l a r i n g " I t were sad to gaze on the b l e s s e d and no man I l o v e d o f o l d t h e r e . " The dream has i t s c o s t : the f a n c y , , i t seems, cannot cheat so w e l l as she i s famed t o do. Niamh's promise t o O i s i n o f a f l a w l e s s i d y l l p r o v e s , i n one sense, a cheat and f i n a l l y an a d m i t t e d d e c e p t i o n , f o r Niamh c o n f e s s e s t h a t no one knows which i s the i s l a n d o f c o n t e n t : a r t i s an i l l u s i o n and d e c e i v e s . A t t h i s s t a g e of the q u e s t , the p o w e r f u l , e x o t i c goddess of the Sidhe i s t r a n s f o r m e d i n t o " l o s t Niamh" w i t h "weeping h e a d " ; . s t r a n g e l y , she has c o n t r a c t e d sorrow from h e r human v i c t i m , a n t i c i p a t i n g the i d e a l . beauty which s u f f e r s w i t h man i n "To the Rose upon the Rood of Time." Niamh e v i n c e s m u l t i p l e r o l e s and q u a l i t i e s : she i s d e s t r u c t i v e and c r e a t i v e , l o v i n g but s i n i s t e r and d e c e p t i v e , l o f t i l y immortal y e t s u f f e r -i n g w i t h man. These a m b i g u i t i e s merge i n t o a f i g u r e o f d r e a m - l i k e en-chantment and e l e g a n t f e m i n i n e g r a c e . Though assuming the White Goddess c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , she i s not the Gravesean b i t c h - g o d d e s s l u s t i n g f o r human b l o o d ; n o r can she ever-be f o r Y e a t s , who was too much o f a p a t r i -c i a n and a gentleman t o s u b s c r i b e to t h a t a t a v i s t i c image. 27 i i They s t o l e l i t t l e B r i d g e t F o r seven y e a r s l o n g ; When she came down a g a i n Her f r i e n d s were a l l gone. They took h e r l i g h t l y back, Between the n i g h t and morrow, They thought t h a t she was f a s t a s l e e p , But she was dead w i t h sorrow. W i l l i a m A l l i n g h a m , "The F a i r i e s " S e d u c t i v e v i s i o n and t h e a m b i g u i t y of f l i g h t i n t o f a i r y l a n d a r e prominent themes i n Y e a t s ' f i r s t t h r e e volumes of p o e t r y — C r o s s w a y s , The  Rose and The Wind among the Reeds. In Crossways, "The S t o l e n C h i l d " and "The Madness of K i n g G o l l " p r e s e r v e the e q u i v o c a l d i a l e c t i c o f the f a i r y and human o r d e r s . "The S t o l e n C h i l d " i s based upon the C e l t i c m o t i f of a b d u c t i o n by the S i d h e and i s f i t t i n g l y a n t h o l o g i z e d among a group o f cognate s t o r i e s and poems i n Y e a t s ' I r i s h F a i r y and F o l k T a l e s , because i t b e l o n g s e s s e n t i a l l y t o I r i s h f o l k c u l t u r e . In "The S t o l e n C h i l d , " the m i s c h i e v o u s S i d h e c o n t r i v e t o l u r e the human c h i l d t o t h e i r j o y o u s r e v e l s on the " l e a f y i s l a n d " beyond the human w o r l d of sorrow; y e t the c o n c l u d -i n g v e r s e unmasks the f a i r i e s ' r e a l i z a t i o n of the c h i l d ' s l o s s . The c h i l d i s d e p r i v e d of the homespun p l e a s u r e s which b r i n g man the peace o f d o m e s t i c s i m p l i c i t y , d e n i e d to the Sidhe i n d u l g i n g t h e i r b o i s t e r o u s f r o l i c s . The f a i r i e s a r e d i s t i n c t l y C e l t i c - g a y , concerned f o r human sorrow, but ominous and t r i c k i l y d e c e p t i v e . Rajan v e n t u r e s so f a r as to 19 see an element of s h e e r t e r r o r i n the f i n a l s t a n z a ; c e r t a i n l y the t e r r o r o f the S i d h e ' s a c t i v i t i e s i s b o l d l y p r e s e n t e d i n A l l i n g h a m ' s seemingly 28 l i g h t - h e a r t e d poem, "The F a i r i e s , " which p r e f a c e s Y e a t s ' I r i s h F a i r y and  F o l k T a l e s . Y e t , Y e a t s ' T e r r i b l e Sidhe seem to be r e s e r v e d f o r The Wind  among the Reeds. The d i s c r e d i t e d , i n t e l l e c t u a l l y d i s r e p u t a b l e f a i r i e s a r e c l e a r l y more than the embroidery of the e a r l y poems, and a l t h o u g h "The S t o l e n C h i l d " p o s s e s s e s what J e f f a r e s terms "an a i r y d e l i c a c y and g r a c e , " i t does n o t meet e x a c t l y h i s o t h e r , a s c r i p t i o n s o f "an inn o c e n c e and the 20 charm o f u n r e a l i t y . " "The Madness of K i n g G o l l " r e a l i z e s more amply the t e r r o r s i n t r i n s i c t o the c r e a t i v e p r o c e s s , as Grossman e x p l a i n s : "Among Y e a t s ' e a r l i e s t poems, 'King G o l l ' d e c l a r e s most c l e a r l y the im-p a c t on Y e a t s o f the muse o f I r e l a n d . The a c t i v e man runs mad. A b d i c a t -i n g h i s temporal power, he becomes a poet who f i n d s j o y i n s i n g i n g , but i s overthrown by the madness which i s h i s i n s p i r a t i o n and d e s t r o y s h i s 21 i n s t r u m e n t . " O r c h i l f i g u r e s as the d e s t r u c t i v e Muse i n the poem, and K i n g G o l l , a f t e r c e l e b r a t i n g h e r beauty, d e s t r o y s h i s h a r p . O r c h i l i s a F o r m o r i a n s o r c e r e s s , and the Formoroh or Fomor a r e the powers of d a r k n e s s , c o l d and death i n C e l t i c myth. T h e - p r e f a t o r y poem of The Rose, "To the Rose upon the Rood of Time," e x p r e s s e s a d u a l r e q u e s t f o r i n s p i r a t i o n and the r e s t r a i n t of t h a t i n s p i r a t i o n , so t h a t the poet i s not t o t a l l y e n c l o s e d o r consumed by C e l t i c dreams. The poet i n v o k e s the Rose, which s y m b o l i z e s the C e l t i c 22 Muse, the r o s e b e i n g a t r a d i t i o n a l image of I r e l a n d . L i k e Niamh, h e r p r e s e n c e w i l l prompt him to w r i t e Danaan songs, and Y e a t s s p e c i f i e s the two legends o f C u c h u l a i n ' s f i g h t w i t h the sea and F e r g u s ' e n c o u n t e r w i t h a D r u i d . The Muse's p r o x i m i t y e n a b l e s him t o p e n e t r a t e t o t h e essence 29 of " E t e r n a l Beauty," u n d e r l y i n g the f i n i t e , phenomenal w o r l d . F o l l o w i n g Romantic and S y m b o l i s t t r a d i t i o n s , p o e t r y becomes a window i n t o the i n -f i n i t e , a f e a t u r e o f Y e a t s ' e a r l y a e s t h e t i c which was e v i d e n t i n "The Wanderings o f O i s i n . " The second s t a n z a r e p e a t s and then q u a l i f i e s the opening i n v o c a t i o n , because the poet r e j e c t s the t o t a l commitment i n i t -i a l l y made to Niamh, d e s i r i n g a s m a l l a r e a of d i s t i l l e d i n s p i r a t i o n so t h a t h i s e s s e n t i a l community w i t h "poor, f o o l i s h " human l i f e i s n o t v i t i a t e d : Come n e a r , come n e a r , come n e a r — A h , . l e a v e me s t i l l A l i t t l e space f o r the r o s e - b r e a t h to f i l l ! L e s t I no more hear common t h i n g s t h a t c r a v e . The t r a n s c e n d e n t cannot deny the f i n i t e , the immortal Rose must remain t r a n s f i x e d to the Rood of Time; the l o f t i l y proud C e l t i c Muse i s c h a r a c -t e r i z e d by a sadness as p o i g n a n t as Niamh's. Yeats e x p l a i n s r e t r o -s p e c t i v e l y t h i s c o n c e p t i o n o f the r o s e : " I n o t i c e upon r e a d i n g these poems f o r the f i r s t time f o r s e v e r a l y e a r s t h a t the q u a l i t y s y m b o l i z e d as The Rose d i f f e r s from I n t e l l e c t u a l beauty of S h e l l e y and Spenser i n t h a t I have imagined i t as s u f f e r i n g w i t h man and n o t as something p u r -23 sued and seen from a f a r . " The two subsequent Rose poems n a r r a t e the legends of Fergus and C u c h u l a i n mentioned i n "To the Rose upon the Rood of Time." "Fergus and the D r u i d " h i n g e s upon a s i m i l a r antinomy to " K i n g G o l l " : Fergus renounces k i n g s h i p f o r the " D r u i d ' s dreaming wisdom" ( D r u i d s were b o t h poets and m a g i c i a n s ) , o n l y to d i s c o v e r t h a t D r u i d i c knowledge i s i n e x t r i c a b l y woven "w i t h g r e a t webs of sorrow." In " C u c h u l a i n ' s F i g h t w i t h the Sea," Emer 30 r e p r e s e n t s the a r c h e t y p e o f the d e s t r u c t i v e b e l o v e d , and p l o t s t o k i l l C u c h u l a i n through the u n w i t t i n g i n s t r u m e n t of C u c h u l a i n ' s o n l y son. The f o l l o w i n g poem, "The Rose o f . t h e World," a f f o r d s the q u i n t e s -s e n t i a l image o f i n s p i r a t i o n — t h e r o s e who i n s p i r e d the c r e a t i o n o f the w o r l d , each of the t h r e e v e r s e s f o c u s s i n g on a p r i n c i p a l a s p e c t of the f i g u r e . The f i r s t s t a n z a c e n t r e s upon the d e s t r u c t i v e n e s s of beauty. Y e a t s i n v e r t s t h e t r a d i t i o n a l p o e t i c c o m p l a i n t upon carpe diem themes, d e v o u r i n g time and f a d i n g beauty, and sees beauty as the agent r a t h e r than the v i c t i m o f d e s t r u c t i o n : Who dreamed t h a t beauty passes l i k e a dream? For t h e s e r e d l i p s , w i t h a l l t h e i r m o u r n f u l p r i d e , M o u r n f u l t h a t no new wonder may b e t i d e , Troy passed away on one h i g h f u n e r a l gleam, And Usna's c h i l d r e n d i e d . In the f i r s t l i n e , the use of "dreamed" s u g g e s t s the p r o c e s s of a r t i s t i c c r e a t i o n , t h e poet as dreamer of dreams, and hence i n t h i s c o n t e x t i t a p p l i e s t o the carpe diem p o e t . Y e a t s s e l e c t s two s u p e r l a t i v e examples of the a r c h e t y p e of t h e d e s t r u c t i v e b e l o v e d — H e l e n and D e i r d r e . D e i r d r e i s the most renowned of I r i s h b e a u t i e s , whom o n l y t o see seemed a s u r e t y of d e a t h ; i n Lady Gregory's C u c h u l a i n of Muirthemne, Cathbad p r o p h e s i e s t h a t on h e r account "more b l o o d w i l l be shed i n I r e l a n d s i n c e time and 24 r a c e began." The second s t a n z a c o n c e n t r a t e s upon the Muse as unchang-i n g e s s e n c e , , c o n t r a s t e d w i t h the f e v e r i s h l y t r a n s i e n t w o r l d , w i t h men's s o u l s " t h a t waver and g i v e p l a c e / L i k e the p a l e waters i n t h e i r w i n t r y r a c e . " The s i m i l e c a r r i e s the maximum impact o f man's e p h e m e r a l i t y : l i f e i s s w i f t l y - r u n n i n g water under c o n d i t i o n s of p e r p e t u a l w i n t e r , so 31 b r i e f as t o appear an u n c e a s i n g end. The evanescence o f a l l phenomena compared w i t h the Muse i s h e i g h t e n e d by r e l a t i n g the water image t o the a p p a r e n t l y c h a n g e l e s s s t a r s , which a r e reduced t o "foam o f the s k y , " f r o t h y , ephemeral, i n s u b s t a n t i a l . The f i n a l v e r s e s t r e s s e s h e r p r e -eminent i n s p i r a t i o n a l r o l e f o r she prompted the C r e a t o r t o f a s h i o n the e a r t h : "He made the w o r l d to be a g r a s s y . r o a d / B e f o r e h e r wandering f e e t . " "The Rose of the World" i s a t e l e s c o p e d l y r i c a l e x p r e s s i o n o f the White Goddess co n c e p t , but a g a i n t h e r e a r e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y Y e a t s i a n d i v e r g e n c i e s . The Muse i s a "m o u r n f u l , " r e d - l i p p e d b e a u t y , "Weary and k i n d , " s u g g e s t i n g a P r e - R a p h a e l i t e sensuousness and l a n g u o r . Kindness i s o b v i o u s l y a p a r a d o x i c a l q u a l i t y i n t h i s c o n t e x t , and A.E. c r i t i c i z e d 25 the l a s t v e r s e because of the i n c o n g r u i t y o f the Rose's a t t r i b u t e s . I t s i n c l u s i o n i l l u s t r a t e s Y e a t s ' concern w i t h a m u l t i f a c e t e d image w i t h i n which compassion and d e s t r u c t i v e n e s s can l e g i t i m a t e l y o p e r a t e , f o r the Muse i s the so u r c e and r e c o n c i l i a t i o n o f a n t i n o m i e s , as bo t h "The Rose of the World" and "The Rose o f Peace" i n d i c a t e . "The Rose of the Worl d " can be seen as the f i r s t poem o f a t r i l o g y , s i n c e i t i s f o l l o w e d by two c l o s e l y r e l a t e d works, "The Rose o f Peace" and "The Rose o f B a t t l e . " I n "The Rose o f the World," t h e Muse i n s t i -g a t es the c y c l e o f human c r e a t i o n and d e s t r u c t i o n ; she i s the f o u n t a i n -head o f d u a l i t i e s , l i k e the Great Mother from whom a l l l i f e i s s u e s and t o whom i t r e t u r n s , Ceres and the I n f e r n a l P r o s e r p i n e . In the second poem, the Muse can t e r m i n a t e a l l c o n f l i c t , . m a k i n g a " r o s y peace" o f Heaven and H e l l , f o r h e r beauty would c o n v e r t the w a r r i o r a n g e l , M i c h a e l , t o 32 g e n t l e n e s s . T h i s a p o c a l y p t i c e f f i c a c y foreshadows the A l c h e m i c a l Rose of The Wind among the Reeds.-"The Rose o f B a t t l e " i s a d i f f i c u l t poem to e x p l i c a t e . I t seems t o p r e s e n t b a t t l e and s u f f e r i n g as the i n e v i t a b l e c o r o l l a r i e s o f the Rose's i n s p i r a t i o n . The Rose and the q u e s t o r s of a "sweet f a r t h i n g " a r e g a t h e r e d a t the sea's edge, o f t e n the m y s t e r i o u s verge o f the f a i r y r e a l m . The vo y a g e r s wage God's war a t s e a and a r e p r o b a b l y poets and m y s t i c s , t hose who l e a d c o n t e m p l a t i v e l i v e s , s i n c e they a r e i s o l a t e d and t h e i r s h i p s have "thought-woven s a i l s . " A l t h o u g h they a r e sad, the Rose p a r t i c i p a t e s i n t h e i r sorrow,.as i n C h r i s t i a n i t y God s u f f e r s w i t h man: Rose o f a l l Roses, Rose o f a l l the World! You, t o o , have come where the dim t i d e s a r e h u r l e d Upon the wharves of sorrow, and he a r d r i n g The b e l l t h a t c a l l s us on; the sweet f a r t h i n g . Beauty grown sad w i t h i t s e t e r n i t y Made you of us, and of the dim grey s e a . "The Rose o f B a t t l e " l o o k s f o r w a r d t o the poem and s e r i e s o f s t o r i e s en-t i t l e d The S e c r e t Rose, which have the avowed purpose of e x p r e s s i n g "the 26 war o f the s p i r i t u a l w i t h the n a t u r a l o r d e r . " The S e c r e t Rose s t o r i e s d e s c r i b e t y p e s o f b o t h a c t i v e and c o n t e m p l a t i v e l i v e r s , swordsman and p o e t - s a i n t i n Y e a t s i a n terms, who, because they a r e i n s p i r e d by a v i s i o n o f the Rose, s u f f e r i n the w o r l d , the f i n a l c o s t o f t h e i r v i s i o n b e i n g d e a t h . The Rose symbol, and a l s o the c o n j u n c t i o n o f Rose and c r o s s i n the p r e f a t o r y poem, can be a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the o c c u l t Rose o f the Order o f the Golden Dawn, which Yeats had j o i n e d i n 1890. P r i n c i p a l l y , the Hermetic Rose r e p r e s e n t e d s a c r i f i c i a l l o v e , and thus the adepts of the 33 Order graduated from the c o n t e m p l a t i o n of R o s i c r u c i a n to C h r i s t i a n myth. Rajan's o p i n i o n t h a t the s u f f e r i n g Rose i s Y e a t s ' r e t r o s p e c t i v e s u p e r -i m p o s i t i o n seems i n v a l i d and would c e r t a i n l y s t r i p the p o e t r y of a w e a l t h 27 o f a m b i g u i t y . "The S e c r e t R o s e " : p r o v i d e s the c u l m i n a t i o n of Rose symbolism i n a volume which c u l m i n a t e s the f i r s t two books, but more d e t a i l e d e x p l i c a t i o n must be r e s e r v e d f o r a s t u d y of The Wind among the  Reeds. F o r the most p a r t , the remainder of the Rose poems u t i l i z e C e l t i c themes and s u b j e c t s , consonant w i t h Y e a t s ' i n t r o d u c t o r y i n v o c a t i o n . He r e l a t e s the s t o r i e s of Diarmuid and G r a n i a , the Countess C a t h l e e n , F e r g u s , F a t h e r G i l l i g a n , the Sidhe ("To Some I have T a l k e d w i t h by the F i r e " ) , and ensconces h i m s e l f i n the I r i s h l i t e r a r y t r a d i t i o n by c l a i m i n g the b e l l - b r a n c h i n "The D e d i c a t i o n to a Book of S t o r i e s S e l e c t e d from the I r i s h N o v e l i s t s . " A r e c u r r e n t m o t i f i s the v i s i o n a r y i s l a n d , such as I n n i s f r e e , " the numberless i s l a n d s " arid "many a Danaan s h o r e " of "The White B i r d s " h a u n t i n g the poet l i k e E l y s i a n g h o s t s , and the "woven w o r l d - f o r g o t t e n i s l e " o f "The Man who Dreamed of F a e r y l a n d . " In t h i s l a s t poem, the dreamer f i n d s d eath i t s e l f i s not f r e e from "unhaunted s l e e p , " from the t r a n s c e n d e n t A r c a d i a n dream, an image, which, even i n Y e a t s ' e a r l y p o e t r y seems t o mock man's e n t e r p r i s e . There a r e o n l y a few e x c e p t i o n s to the broad t h e m a t i c d e s i g n t h a t has emerged through e x p l i c a t i o n o f the Rose poems; these few s t u d i e s con-s t i t u t e not so much e x c e p t i o n s as b a l d c o n t r a s t s , r a d i c a l i n v e r s i o n s , f o r they a r e i n f o r m e d by the a n t i t h e t i c a l theme of the m o r t a l b e l o v e d . In "The P i t y o f Love," the poet laments a l o v e which b l e n d s i n w i t h the 34 human scene, w i t h a l l phenomenal r e a l i t y , i n t h a t i t too i s an i n t e g r a l p a r t o f the r e l e n t l e s s f l u x . "The Sorrow o f Love" d e s c r i b e s a g i r l i n the same terms as the Rose: she has r e d mou r n f u l l i p s , i s proud and s o r r o w i n g , and an i n s p i r a t i o n a l f i g u r e , 1 s i n c e her emergence provokes the c r e a t i o n of "man's image and h i s c r y . " Y e t she i s the m o r t a l b e l o v e d , and the T r o j a n a l l u s i o n s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h h e r have t h e o p p o s i t e e f f e c t t o the Muse's p o r t r a y a l as H e l e n , f o r the g i r l i s "Doomed l i k e Odysseus and the l a b o u r i n g s h i p s /And proud as P r i a m murdered w i t h h i s p e e r s . " "When You a r e O l d " and "A Dream o f Death" e n v i s a g e t h a t unspeakable p i t y o f l o v e ("beyond a l l t e l l i n g " ) , which i s the o l d age and death of the b e l o v e d . The d e s t r u c t i o n o f the m o r t a l woman i s contemplated i n c o n j u n c t i o n w i t h the d e s t r u c t i v i t y o f t h e immortal woman: she i s the v i c t i m and the cause of time's d e p r a d a t i o n s . The poet has f u l f i l l e d h i s i n v o c a t o r y d e s i r e t o t r a n s c e n d , b u t not t o n e g l e c t human e x p e r i e n c e . The Rose c o n c l u d e s w i t h "The Two T r e e s , " "To Some I have T a l k e d w i t h by the F i r e " and "To I r e l a n d i n the Coming Times." A l t h o u g h "To Some I have T a l k e d w i t h by the F i r e " c oncerns the ma t t e r o f I r e l a n d , i t i s n o t c e n t r a l t o t h i s d i s c u s s i o n . "The Two T r e e s " j u x t a p o s e s the i d y l l i c i n n e r v i s i o n and e x t e r n a l , phenomenal r e a l i t y , and the poet c o u n s e l s the b e l o v e d t o acknowledge o n l y the f o r m e r — t h e t r e e which grows i n the h e a r t . I t i s t h i s E d e n i c inward view, which has i n s p i r e d the po e t ' s v e r s e : The s h a k i n g of i t s l e a f y head Has g i v e n the waves t h e i r melody, And made my l i p s and music wed,-. Murmuring a w i z a r d song f o r th e e . 35 An e x a c t l y o p p o s i t e t r e e i s r e f l e c t e d i n the " g l a s s o f o u t e r w e a r i n e s s , " which m i r r o r s c o n f l i c t , decay, r u i n , c r u e l t y and b i t t e r n e s s . As U n t e r e c k e r p o i n t s out, the two t r e e s a r e the T r e e of L i f e and of Good and E v i l , and Y e a t s i s drawing from Mathers' The Kabbalah U n v e i l e d f o r 28 t h e i r e x p r e s s i o n . Whereas O i s i n f i n d s i n s u f f i c i e n c i e s i n b o t h realms and f i n a l l y y e a r n s f o r human i n s u f f i c i e n c y , h e r e the poet s u b s c r i b e s c o m p l e t e l y to the v i s i o n ; Y e a t s ' motive appears to be t h a t , i n t h i s poem, o n l y to the i n n e r s i g h t a r e the b e l o v e d ' s eyes k i n d . D e s p i t e the h e i g h t e n e d l y r i c i s m and Maud Gonne's p a r t i c u l a r l i k i n g f o r t h i s poem, i t seems to c a r r y a remarkably c r y p t i c i m p l i c a t i o n unique i n the e a r l y p o e t r y , but one which i s f u l l y expanded i n h i s l a t e r work. "To I r e l a n d i n the Coming Times" p r o v i d e s a f i t t i n g , ceremonious e p i l o g u e . Y e a t s r e a f f i r m s h i s community w i t h the f i g u r e s o f I r i s h l i t e r a r y t r a d i t i o n , a l t h o u g h more than i n " t h e i r rhyming" he has c e l e -b r a t e d "the r e d - r o s e - b o r d e r e d hem /Of h e r , whose h i s t o r y began / B e f o r e God made the a n g e l i c c l a n . " He has s e r v e d the Rose of the World, who, "weary and k i n d , " l i n g e r e d by God's s e a t b e f o r e C r e a t i o n and who i s the i n s p i r e r o f a l l C e l t i c song: The measure of h e r f l y i n g f e e t Made I r e l a n d ' s h e a r t b e g i n to b e a t ; And Time bade a l l h i s c a n d l e s f l a r e To l i g h t a measure h e r e and t h e r e . The poet j o u r n e y s a f t e r t h e t r a i l i n g hem o f h e r robe towards a p o c a l y p s e , where even l o v e and dream w i l l be e x t i n g u i s h e d i n " t r u t h ' s consuming e c s t a s y , " a n t i c i p a t i n g t h e c o n t r o l l i n g theme of The Wind amOrig the Reeds. 36 i i i The Wind among the Reeds i s the l a s t volume of Y e a t s ' p o e t r y to f o c u s upon the c a l l i n t o f a i r y l a n d w i t h i n t h e p r e s c r i b e d terms of t h i s a n a l y s i s ; and i t embodies a c l i m a c t i c treatment of t h e theme. Yeats comments t h a t he had pondered over the images of "The Wanderings of O i s i n , " Crossways, and The Rose i n o r d e r to f a s h i o n the " t r u e symbols" 29 of h i s t h i r d book, which c e r t a i n l y c u l m i n a t e s h i s e a r l y themes, and r e p r e s e n t s the apex of h i s e a r l y concept of the Muse. A f t e r w a r d s , a l -though a s p e c t s of the Niamh Muse o c c u r , they a r e p l a c e d i n i r o n i c p e r s -p e c t i v e , o f t e n reduced t o an a f t e f a c t o f the poet's making, and she i s no l o n g e r t e m p o r a r i l y d e c e p t i v e , but permanently masked. C r i t i c s have s i n g l e d out The Wind among the Reeds f o r p a r t i c u l a r c e n s u r e , because i t d e s c r i b e s f a i r y l a n d w i t h more i n s i s t e n c e and w i t h l e s s a m b i g u i t y than p r e v i o u s l y . D e l i c a t e e v i d e n c e s of an a n t i n o m i c view have been f e l t t o r e s c u e the e a r l i e r poems from too onerous c r i t i c i s m , and, a t t i m e s , to c o n t r i b u t e towards a q u a l i f i e d e x c e l l e n c e , but The Wind among the Reeds o f f e r s no c o u n t e r - w e i g h t t o t h e v i s i o n . Though c r i t i c s p r a i s e the b e a u t y of Y e a t s ' l y r i c forms, they have agreed w i t h P a r k i n s o n ' s o p i n i o n 30 t h a t he has r e g r e t t a b l y " d i s a p p e a r e d i n t o e t e r n i t y and r a p t u r e . " C e r t a i n l y , The Wind among the Reeds i s s u e s an emphatic f a i r y summons; n o t o n l y i s the S i d h e ' s amorous a p p e a l e f f i c a c i o u s , b u t a l s o t h e i r o f f e r o f f u l f i l m e n t , which i s c o n t r a s t e d w i t h u n r e q u i t e d e a r t h l y p a s s i o n . The Wind among the Reeds r e g i s t e r s the p o v e r t y of the w o r l d ' s a t t r a c t i o n w hich cannot h o l d any g r a t i f i c a t i o n f o r the p o e t . He m e d i t a t e s upon the Sid h e w i t h u n c e a s i n g d e s i r e , f o r they are the immortal l o v e r s who w i l l t e r m i n a t e e a r t h l y f r u s t r a t i o n and l i m i t a t i o n s , n ot through the poe t ' s temporary s o j o u r n i n t h e i r r e a l m , but through the d e s t r u c t i o n of the w o r l d . They a r e the h e r a l d s of an a p o c a l y p s e i n which v i s i o n w i l l r e p l a c e l i f e . The Sid h e a r e no l o n g e r the m i s c h i e v o u s f a i r i e s of "The S t o l e n C h i l d , " but the w o r l d - d e s t r o y i n g S i d h e . The Wind among t h e Reeds i s Y e a t s ' Book of R e v e l a t i o n . The t i t l e o f the volume i t s e l f r e f e r s t o the c a l l o f the S i d h e , as Yeats e x p l a i n s : "Sidhe i s a l s o G a e l i c f o r wind, and c e r t a i n l y the Sidh e have much t o do w i t h t h e wind. They j o u r n e y i n the w h i r l i n g wind, the winds t h a t were c a l l e d the dance o f the daughters of H e r o d i a s i n the M i d d l e Ages, H e r o d i a s d o u b t l e s s t a k i n g the p l a c e o f some o l d goddess. When o l d c o u n t r y p e o p l e see the l e a v e s w h i r l i n g on the road t h e y . b l e s s t h emselves, because they b e l i e v e the Sidhe t o be p a s s i n g 31 by." A l s o , the wind r e p r e s e n t s t h a t u n c o n f i n e d , vague d e s i r e , which the poet f o c u s e s upon the Sidhe and which i s the p r e v a i l i n g emotion o f the volume: " I use the wind as a symbol of vague d e s i r e s and hopes, not merely because the Sidhe a r e i n the wind,.or because the wind bloweth as i t l i s t e t h , b u t because wind and s p i r i t and vague d e s i r e have been a s s o c i a t e d everywhere. A h i g h l a n d s c h o l a r t e l l s me t h a t h i s c o u n t r y 32 p e o p l e use the wind i n t h e i r t a l k as I use i t i n my poem." I t i s a d e s i r e which, y e a r n s f o r the d e s t r u c t i o n o f a l l t h a t i s not i t s e l f , a l l t h a t does not l o n g f o r t r a n s f o r m a t i o n through the " g r e a t wind o f l o v e and h a t e , " t h e S e c r e t Rose's a p o c a l y p t i c wind. Thus, the wind image u n d e r l i e s the Sidhe ' s d u a l r o l e s : they embody d e s i r e , but a d e s i r e 38 which b r i n g s d e a t h t o the l o v e r , and h e r e , c l i m a c t i c a l l y , d eath t o the w o r l d . In t h e f i r s t poem, "The H o s t i n g o f the S i d h e , " t h e Sidhe r i d e f i e r c e l y i n the winds, c r y i n g "Away^ come away: /Empty your h e a r t of i t s m o r t a l dream." From the Sidhe ' s v i e w p o i n t and from t h a t o f the e n t i r e volume, t h e human and f a i r y w o r l d s have exchanged s i g n i f i c a n c e s , ex-changed t h e i r r o l e s as r e a l i t y and the dream: l i f e i s not o n l y i n s u b -s t a n t i a l i n t h a t i t i s s h o r t - l i v e d , but a l s o i n t h a t i t i s i m a g i n a r y — a " m o r t a l dream." A r t and v i s i o n a r e r e a l and can p r o f f e r the poet r e a l f u l f i l m e n t : • " T h e h o s t i s r u s h i n g ' t w i x t n i g h t and day, /And where i s t h e r e hope o r deed as f a i r ? " The Sidhe's e r o t i c a t t r a c t i o n i s s e n s u o u s l y v i v i d , f o r th e y r i d e w i t h p a r t e d l i p s , h e a v i n g bosom, b u r n i n g h a i r , gleaming e y e s . Among the d a z z l i n g company, Yeats mentions o n l y two by name—Niamh and C a o i l t e — N i a m h , who l o v e d a m o r t a l , and C a o i l t e , who was l o v e d by an Immortal:.love and d e s i r e a r e the p r e r o g a t i v e of the Si d h e . The f o l l o w i n g poem, "The E v e r l a s t i n g V o i c e s , " c o n c e n t r a t e s a g a i n upon the v o i c e s o f the S i d h e , which m i n g l e and r e s o n a t e i n the sounds of n a t u r e , b i r d s , wind, boughs, t i d e : "you c a l l i n b i r d s , i n wind on the h i l l , /In shaken boughs, i n t i d e on the s h o r e ? " The poet p l e a d s f o r the v o i c e s ' c e s s a t i o n because man's weary h e a r t cannot bear t h e i r unwearying a p p e a l ; r a t h e r than summoning t h e poet, they s h o u l d command the h e a v e n l y powers t o a n n i h i l a t e time: 0 sweet e v e r l a s t i n g V o i c e s , be s t i l l ; Go t o the guards o f the h e a v e n l y f o l d And b i d them wander o b e y i n g your w i l l , Flame under flame, t i l l Time be no more. 39 The poet i s too weak to s u s t a i n the t e n s i o n o f the two w o r l d s , and yea r n s t o r e l i n q u i s h human inadequacy. "The Moods" a g a i n speaks o f the d i s s o l u t i o n of the temporal f l u x , and " I n t o the T w i l i g h t " r e g a r d s b o t h time and man's h e a r t as "out-worn," t w i l i g h t , when t h e Sidhe r i d e , p r o -v i d i n g t h e s e t t i n g f o r the m a j o r i t y of the poems i n The Wind among the  Reeds. In "The Song o f t h e Wandering Aengus" the poet goes a t t w i l i g h t i n t o the h a z e l wood, where he i s , e n r a p t u r e d by a glimmering g i r l s o f the Sid h e . He has v e n t u r e d i n t o the f o r e s t f o r i n s p i r a t i o n , . s i n c e . t h e 33 h a z e l was the C e l t i c t r e e o f p o e t i c i n s p i r a t i o n and knowledge. With a s e v e r e d h a z e l b r a n c h the poet c a t c h e s a s i l v e r t r o u t t h a t s u ddenly changes i n t o a g i r l ; a c c o r d i n g t o Y e a t s , the f i s h was one of the f r e q u e n t 34 shape-changes assumed by the S i d h e . She c a l l s h i s name and v a n i s h e s , l e a v i n g the poet w i t h t h e s o l i t a r y purpose o f q u e s t i n g t o f i n d h e r l o v e u n t i l h i s own l i f e and a l l time d i s s o l v e . The i n f e r e n c e i s t h a t o n l y a p o c a l y p s e w i l l r e t u r n h e r t o Aengus, t h a t he " w i l l f i n d no o t h e r f a c e f a i r / T i l l a l l the v a l l e y s o f the w o r l d have been w i t h e r e d away" ("He T e l l s o f a V a l l e y F u l l o f L o v e r s " ) . In "The Host o f t h e A i r " the l a n d s c a p e darkens "At t h e coming o f n i g h t - t i d e , " and the Host m a l e v o l e n t l y abduct B r i d g e t , who s a c r i f i c e s h e r s e l f t o r e s c u e O ' D r i s c o l l from the Sidhe ' s d e c e p t i v e enchantments. The Host of the A i r were the demonic S i d h e , man-haters, and thus t h e i r advent i n the poem a u t o m a t i c a l l y means " e v i l chance" t o the human v i c -t i m s . The i n c l u s i o n of t h i s f o l k l e g e n d opens up the p o s s i b i l i t y o f Y e a t s i a n r e s e r v a t i o n s about the t e r r i b l e S i d h e , b u t t h e s e seem d e n i e d i n 40 r e l a t i o n t o o t h e r poems, such as "The Unappeasable H o s t . " Here, the h a r p y - l i k e Sidhe r i d e the d e s o l a t e , thunderous N o r t h winds w i t h the v u l -t u r e , b e a r i n g d e a t h to the human mother and c h i l d . . . Yet t o wind-shaken h e a r t s , the h o s t have the c o m e l i n e s s of " c a n d l e s a t Mother Mary's f e e t , " T h i s a n a l o g y i m p l i e s t h a t the m o r t a l mother and h e r baby w i l l become s a n c t i f i e d and immortal i n the Golden Age o f v i s i o n , when the c a t a c l y s m i c Sidhe w i l l , appear o n l y as s m a l l flames l i g h t e d i n t h e i r r e v e r e n c e . Images o f c a t a c l y s m , of the d e s t r u c t i o n o f the o l d o r d e r , a r e abundant^ r-for example, the Horses of D i s a s t e r , the b l a c k p i g and t h e b r i s t l e l e s s b o a r . "The V a l l e y o f the B l a c k P i g " d e s c r i b e s t h e p r o p h e s i e d g r e a t b a t t l e , which w i l l f i n a l l y b r i n g the C e l t s power. The b l a c k p i g image i s c o r r e l a t e d i n Y e a t s ' n o t e s w i t h the b r i s t l e l e s s b o a r , and he i n t e r p r e t s them b o t h as t y p e s of c o l d o r w i n t e r , as death s t r u g g l i n g w i t h 35 l i f e . Y e a t s c o n t i n u e s to e x p l a i n t h a t t h i s c o n f l i c t i s analogous t o the S i d h e ' s f i g h t f o r the s e d u c t i o n of a human, so t h a t the two images r e i n f o r c e the c o n t r o l l i n g m o t i f o f The Wind among the Reeds. F i n a l l y , l i k e t h e S i d h e ' s advent, the two b e a s t s e x p r e s s "the darkness t h a t w i l l 36 at l a s t d e s t r o y the gods and the w o r l d . " The u n c o n v e n t i o n a l m y t h i c a l n a r r a t o r o f "He Mourns f o r the Change t h a t has Come upon him and h i s B e l o v e d , and Longs f o r the End of the World" i s a hound w i t h one r e d e a r , who has been t r a n s f o r m e d by the man c a r r y i n g a h a z e l wand, and who c o n t i n u a l l y c a l l s t o the h o r n l e s s w h i t e d e e r . O i s i n and h i s F e n i a n companions were h u n t i n g the h o r n l e s s deer when they encountered Niamh, and l a t e r O i s i n i s p u z z l e d by t h e s e two somewhat p i c t u r e s q u e animals on h i s j o u r n e y t o the Land of the L i v i n g . Y e a ts i n t e r p r e t s t h i s C e l t i c 41 image of the hound as man's d e s i r e f o r woman, so t h a t , i n t h e poem, the poet has been t r a n s f o r m e d by the h a z e l wand of p o e t i c i n s p i r a t i o n i n t o a disembodied d e s i r e , y e a r n i n g f o r an a p p a r e n t l y u n a t t a i n a b l e b e l o v e d , f o r a p o c a l y p s e . P a s s i o n detached from a l l e a r t h l y s t i m u l u s and s a t i s -f a c t i o n s h o u l d p r o b a b l y be a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the o r i g i n a l n a r r a t o r o f 37 many of the poems, Aedh, who r e p r e s e n t e d " f i r e b u r n i n g by i t s e l f " — "Flames t h a t no f a g g o t f e e d s , nor s t e e l has l i t . " The c u l m i n a t i o n of the t h e m a t i c p a t t e r n s i n The Wind among the  Reeds i s reached i n the poem "The S e c r e t Rose," and i n the p r o s e work of the same name which i t p r e f a c e s . In the poem, the r o s e r e t a i n s i t s e a r l i e r s y m b o l i c i m p o r t , but has become more e x p l i c i t l y the o c c u l t , the " s e c r e t " Rose of the Order of t h e Golden Dawn. The poet i s a g a i n a w a i t -i n g a p o c a l y p s e , when the Rose's " g r e a t wind of l o v e and h a t e , " the amor-death c o n j u n c t i o n embodied i n the S i d h e , w i l l e f f e c t doom. Y e a t s ' p r o s e work The S e c r e t Rose, and i t s companion p i e c e Rosa A l c h e m i c a , r e v o l v e upon the Order of t h e A l c h e m i c a l Rose; i n the f i r s t , the Order's i n i t i a t e s s u f f e r f o r a b a s e , i n g r a t e f u l w o r l d s i n c e the Rose p a r t i c i p a t e s i n and b e a r s man's sorrow; i n the second, Robartes i n t r o d u c e s the poet i n t o an Order d e d i c a t e d t o the a l c h e m i c a l change of the "common m e t a l s " 38 o f l i f e i n t o "some d i v i n e and i m p e r i s h a b l e s u b s t a n c e . " Rosa A l c h e m i c a i s an a g g r e g a t i o n of a l l the themes of The Wind among the Reeds: the poet, s t y l e s h i s work "a c r y of m e a s u r e l e s s d e s i r e f o r a w o r l d made w h o l l y o f e s s e n c e s , " "where the weary h e a r t w i l l become a w e a r i l e s s s p i r i t , " though he acknowledges t h a t i t i s an " i n d e f i n i t e w o r l d which 39 f i l l s [him] w i t h t e r r o r . " He sees the e a r t h on the b r i n k o f c a t a c l y s m i c wars and o b l i v i o n , and p r o p h e c i e s h i s own p a s s i n g i n t o t h a t "Death w h i c h i s Beauty i t s e l f . " U n l i k e "The Wanderings of O i s i n , " the poet d e s i r e s an end of m o r t a l l i f e , w h ich may be a c h i e v e d through a t e r -r i b l e metamorphosis i n t o b e a u t y . The p o e t r y and s h o r t s t o r i e s o f t h i s p e r i o d i l l u s t r a t e t h a t Niamh, the w h i t e l a d y of i n s p i r a t i o n and d e a t h , has succeeded i n s e c u r i n g O i s i n ' s a f f e c t i o n s : The h o s t i s r u s h i n g ' t w i x t n i g h t and day, And where i s t h e r e hope or deed as f a i r ? C a o i l t e t o s s i n g h i s b u r n i n g h a i r , And Niamh c a l l i n g Away, come away. ,• The Wind among the Reeds i s not to be d i s m i s s e d i n the b a n a l p h r a s i n g o f f i n de s i e c l e w e a r i n e s s ; i t i s a r o b u s t , h i g h l y - w r o u g h t s e r i e s o f l y r i c s about man's e l e m e n t a l need f o r t r a n s c e n d e n c e , r e g e n e r -a t i o n , the i d e a l . Y e a t s ' v e r y use of C e l t i c mythology, o f f o l k themes, i n d i c a t e s t h a t he wishes to i m c o r p o r a t e the emotions and a s p i r a t i o n s o f the p e o p l e i n t o h i s p o e t r y , so t h a t i t i s not the p r o d u c t of a morbid i s o l a t i o n and s o l i p s i s m . In The Wind among the Reeds, t h e r e i s a f u s i o n of "the h i g h d i s c i p l i n e d or i n d i v i d u a l k i n g l y mind" and the f o l k song, the "thoughts and emotions t h a t were c r e a t e d by the community," and Y e a t s e n v i s a g e s i n a r t a u n i o n of t h e two, which he d e s i g n a t e s "a mar-40 r i a g e of the sun and moon" i n "the b r i d e - b e d o f p o e t r y . " In The Wind among the Reeds,.the poet a s p i r e s t o r e - c r e a t e a w o r l d whose chaos "wrongs" the Muse's image, which "blossoms a r o s e i n the deeps of [ h i s ] h e a r t " ("The L o v e r T e l l s of the Rose i n h i s H e a r t " ) . In Y e a t s ' e a r l y work, i t i s i m p o s s i b l e to e l i c i t d o c t r i n a l c o n c l u s i o n s , 43 41. as L e n t r i c c h i a a b l y i l l u s t r a t e s . What i s the Y e a t s i a n v i s i o n ? I s Yeats a f f i r m i n g a r e a l l y - e x i s t e n t r e a l m of e s s e n c e s a c c e s s i b l e t o the poet t h r o u g h the Muse's i n s p i r a t i o n ? F a i r y l a n d i s t h e abode of the dead and c o u l d t h e r e f o r e be seen as the s p i r i t w o r l d ; Niamh b r i n g s d e a t h . F a i r y l a n d seems a l s o t o r e p r e s e n t the Ariima Mtiridi,.which u n i t e s the two p r e v i o u s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s , s i n c e i t i s the r e s e r v o i r o f human e s s e n c e s , the a r c h e t y p e s of a l l t h e l i v i n g and the dead. F a i r y l a n d f u r t h e r i n -v o l v e s t r a d i t i o n a l p o e t i c v i s i o n , . p a r t i c u l a r l y f o r a B l a k e a n d i s c i p l e , and the poet f i g u r e s as v a t e s , t h e s e l f - s t y l e d prophet of a p o c a l y p s e . However v i s i o n i s d e s c r i b e d , i t i s more than a p o e t i c c o n s t r u c t , though e x p r e s s e d i n t h e medium of p o e t r y . Dreaming, the p o e t i c p r o c e s s , i s h e i g h t e n e d i n t o the e c s t a s y of v i s i o n . In Rosa A l c h e m i c a , Yeats d i s t i n -g u i s h e s between "the c e r t a i n t y o f v i s i o n and the u n c e r t a i n t y of 42 dream," and o n l y t h e c e r t a i n v i s i o n , not i n a d e q u a t e dream, e n a b l e s him t o become an i n i t i a t e o f the Order of the A l c h e m i c a l Rose. A l t h o u g h v i s i o n i s c l o t h e d i n p o w e r f u l , e l o q u e n t symbols i n The Wind, among the Reeds and i s v i v i d l y e x p e r i e n c e d by the p o e t , i t s n a t u r e has an i n d e f -43 i n i t e n e s s , what L e a v i s terms a " s h i f t i n g c l o u d y , u n s i z e a b l e n e s s , " which e x p r e s s e s p o s s e s s i o n by a m y s t i c a l r e v e l a t i o n , which p o e t r y can p o r t r a y , b ut not c i r c u m s c r i b e . In The Wind among the Reeds, Yeats i s poet and p r o p h e t , t h e D e l p h i c v i s i o n a r y who sees a p o c a l y p s e . The a r t i s t ' s dream i s i n t e n s i f i e d t o convey,the a l c h e m i c a l Rose of v i s i o n , which i n i t s f u r n a c e w i l l t r a n s f i g u r e a l l common t h i n g s i n t o " i m m a t e r i a l ,,44 e c s t a s y . In "The L o v e r T e l l s o f the Rose i n h i s H e a r t , " the Muse has i n s p i r e d him to r e - c r e a t e t h e w o r l d , not s i m p l y through the p o e t ' s dreams, f o r h i s dreams of the b e l o v e d blossom a r o s e , f l o w e r i n t o v i s i o n . The Muse i s the s o u r c e and the image of h i s v i s i o n ; she i s the e x a l t e d "White -woman that, p a s s i o n has worn," t o whom he d e d i c a t e s h i s v e r s e " w i t h r e v e r e n t hands" ("A Poet t o h i s B e l o v e d " ) . A f t e r The Wind  among the Reeds, the poet i s not a v i s i o n a r y , but a dreamer; an a r t i f i -c e r , and t h e Muse i s h i s a r t e f a c t : he becomes a maker of songs, a s i n g e r , and t h e M u s e — h i s song. 45 NOTES "'"Allan Wade," ed. j The L e t t e r s o f W. B_. Y e a t s (London: Rupert H a r t -D a v i s , 1954), p. 63. 2 Frank L e n t r i c c h i a , The G a i e t y of Language: An E s s a y on the R a d i - c a l P o e t i c s of W. B.. Y e a t s and W a l l a c e Stevens ( B e r k e l e y : U n i v e r s i t y o f C a l i f o r n i a Press,, 1968), p. 43. 3 B a l a c h a n d r a Rajan,,W. JB. Y e a t s : A C r i t i c a l I n t r o d u c t i o n (1965; r p t . London: H u t c h i n s o n , 1969), p. 22. 4 R a j a n , p. 27. "*See W. B. Y e a t s , I r i s h F a i r y and F o l k T a l e s (New York: Modern L i b r a r y , n . d . ) , p. 1; P e t e r A l l t and R u s s e l l K. A l s p a c h , The V a r i o r u m  E d i t i o n o f t h e Poems of W. B. Y e a t s (New York:, M a c m i l l a n , 1957), p. 796. Yeats i s f o l l o w i n g t h e g e n e r a l l y - h e l d view, f o r example, W. Y. Evans Wentz, The F a i r y - F a i t h i n C e l t i c C o u n t r i e s " ( L o n d o n : O.U.P., 1911), pp. 283-84) W^. B. Y e a t s , E s s a y s and I n t r o d u c t i o n s (1961; r p t . London: M a c m i l l a n , 1969), p. 72. 7Wentz, pp. 333-40. g The v e r s i o n s of the O i s i n l e g e n d known to Yeats a r e examined by R u s s e l l K. A l s p a c h i n "Some Sources of Y e a t s ' s The Wanderings of O i s i n , " PMLA LVI (1943), pp. 849-66. 9 A l l e n R. Grossman, P o e t i c Knowledge i n the E a r l y Y e a t s : A Study. of "The Wind among the Reeds" ( C h a r l o t t e s v i l l e : The U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s of V i r g i n i a , 1969), p. 33. " ^ E s s a y s and I n t r o d u c t i o n s , p. 80. "'"''"W. B. Y e a t s , The Wanderings of O i s i n and Other Poems (London:, Kegan P a u l , 1889), p. 3. 1 2 W e n t z , p. 339. 13 L e t t e r s , p. 106. Y e a t s comments i n a l e t t e r t o K a t h e r i n e Tynan t h a t t h e Howth t h i c k e t and i t s shadows gave him h i s f i r s t thought of what a l o n g poem s h o u l d be. C r i t i c s u s u a l l y c i t e the remark t o i l l u s -t r a t e t h a t h i s e a r l y work i s p r e o c c u p i e d w i t h r e t r e a t and escape. 46 14 V a r i o r u m , p. 793. ^ J o h n U n t e r e c k e r i n A Reader's Guide to W. B_. Yeats (1959; r p t . New York: Noonday P r e s s , 1964), b r i e f l y s u g g e s t s a s i m i l a r i n t e r p r e t a -t i o n , b u t does not develop i t , v i z . "the t h r e e i s l a n d s a r e a s p e c t s of one l i f e : y o u t h , m i d d l e age, and o l d age" (p. 6 5 ) . 16 L e n t r i c c h i a , p. 50. ^ E s s a y s and I n t r o d u c t i o n s , p. 146. p. 99. 18 • - - -H a r o l d Bloom, Y e a t s (New York: O x f o r d U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1970), 19 Raj an, p. 23. 20 A. Norman J e f f a r e s , W. B_. Y e a t s : Man and Poet (1949; r p t . London: R o u t l e d g e and Kegan P a u l , 1962), p. 38. 21 Grossman, p. 39. 22 See Y e a t s ' n o t e s i n t h e V a r i o r u m : "The Rose i s a f a v o u r i t e symbol w i t h the I r i s h p o e t s . I t has g i v e n a name t o more than one poem, b o t h G a e l i c and E n g l i s h , and i s used, not merely i n l o v e poems,, but i n a d d r e s s e s t o I r e l a n d , as i n De Vere's l i n e , 'The l i t t l e b l a c k r o s e s h a l l be r e d a t l a s t , ' and i n Mangan's 'Dark R o s a l e e n . ' " 23 V a r i o r u m , p. 842. 24 Lady Gregory, C u c h u l a i n o f Muirthemne (1902; r p t . London: Murray,.1903), p. 104. 25 A. Norman J e f f a r e s , A Commentary on the C o l l e c t e d Poems of W. Ji . Y e a t s ( S t a n f o r d : S t a n f o r d U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1968), pp. 30-31. 26 W. B. Y e a t s , S t o r i e s o f Red Hanrahan: The S e c r e t Rose: Rosa  A l c h e m i c a (London: A. H. B u l l e n , 1913), p. 75. 27 Rajan, p. 29. 28 U n t e r e c k e r , p. 86. 29 V a r i o r u m , p. 800. 30 Thomas Parkinson,<W. B./Yeats: S e l f - C r i t i c : A Study of h i s E a r l y  V e r s e ( B e r k e l e y : U n i v e r s i t y o f C a l i f o r n i a P r e s s , 1951), p. 48. 31 V a r i o r u m , p. 800. 32 V a r i o r u m , p. 806. 47 33 Lady Gregory, Gods and F i g h t i n g Men (1904; r p t . London: Murray, 1919), p. 2. 34 Variorum, p. 806. 35 V a r i o r u m , p . .809 . 36 V a r i o r u m , p. 809. 37 - V a r i o r u m , p. 803. 38 39 40 "^Hj. B. Y e a t s , P r e f a c e i n Lady Gregory's Gods and F i g h t i n g Men, pp. xix., x x i . 42 L e n t r i c c h i a , pp. 39-43 e t passim. 43 . Red Hanrahan e t c . , p. 209. 44 F. R. L e a y i s , i n New B e a r i n g s i n E n g l i s h P o e t r y (1932), r p t . i n The Permanence of Y e a t s , eds. James H a l l and M a r t i n Steinmann (New York: C o l l i e r , 1961), p. 152. 45 Red Hanrahan e t c . , p. 194. Red Hanrahan e t c . , p. 190. Red Hanrahan e t c . , pp . 190, 193, 202 *Red Hanrahan e t c . , p. 204. CHAPTER I I I THE MORTAL AND HEROIC MUSE At the c o n c l u s i o n of Rosa A l c h e m i c a , the poet i s l u r e d i n t o dance w i t h "an immortal august woman" who seems " l a d e n w i t h a wisdom more p r o -found than the d arkness t h a t i s between s t a r and s t a r , and w i t h a l o v e l i k e the l o v e t h a t b r e a t h e d upon the w a t e r s . T h e a t t r i b u t e s of wisdom and c r e a t i v e l o v e suggest t h a t she i s the f i r s t p r i n c i p l e , the i n s p i r a -t i o n a l b r e a t h o f the w o r l d ' s o r i g i n . Suddenly, the poet r e a l i z e s t h a t she i s " d r i n k i n g up [ h i s ] s o u l as an ox d r i n k s up a wayside p o o l , " and the s t r i k i n g , . d i s c o r d a n t a n a l o g y p o i n t s t o the. sheer s t r e n g t h and power w i t h which the Muse d r a i n s the p o e t ' s l i f e , h i s e x i s t e n c e i n the d i s s a t -i s f y i n g , phenomenal w o r l d . The poet r e c o i l s from u l t i m a t e commitment t o h e r , and i m m e d i a t e l y the s p l e n d i d temple w i t h i t s m y s t i c a l Order d i s s o l v e s to l e a v e a tawdry house and a f u r i o u s mob. Niamh cannot seduce O i s i n i n t o t h e l a n d of v i s i o n ; . Y e a t s c o u l d not make the f i n a l s u r r e n d e r o f human e x p e r i e n c e t o h i s w h i t e l a d y of i n s p i r a t i o n and d e a t h , o r , i n 2 Hoffman's p h r a s i n g , o f doom and e c s t a s y . Y e a ts withdraws from S h e l l e y ' s uncompromising, e x u l t a n t i n j u n c t i o n : "Die / I f thou w o u l d s t be w i t h t h a t which thou d o s t seek!" And thus Y e a t s ' v i s i o n d i s a p p e a r s . In The Wind  among the Reeds, t h e r e i s no h i n t of r e s e r v a t i o n s about the Sidhe's a l l -consuming a p p e a l , nor a h i n t of the w a s t e l a n d t h a t f o l l o w s the demise of v i s i o n , b u t the p o e t r y of the next two volumes i s p o e t - v i s i o n a r y and p o s t - l a p s a r i a n , and Y e a t s r e v e a l s a d i s t r a u g h t awareness t h a t p a r a d i s e i s l o s t . 49 "Adam's C u r s e " i s r e d o l e n t w i t h t h i s new t r a g i c awareness, f o r a l l t h e beauty i n l i f e i s seen as the r e s u l t o f g r o s s e f f o r t and u n r e -l e n t i n g i n d u s t r y . H i s p o e t r y i s not the e x p r e s s i o n o f u n c h a r t e r e d v i s i o n , b u t o f the p o e t ' s l a b o r i o u s c r a f t . Both volumes c o n c e n t r a t e more e m p h a t i c a l l y than any o t h e r Y e a t s i a n v e r s e upon the p a t i e n t and d i f f i c u l t a p p l i c a t i o n which p o e t r y r e q u i r e s . In "Adam's C u r s e , " p o e t r y i s c o n s i d e r e d to p r e s e n t a more strenuous, t a s k than s c r u b b i n g a pavement or b r e a k i n g s t o n e s , and i s . a l s o compared w i t h the d o m e s t i c tedium of needlework, a m e t i c u l o u s p r o c e s s demanding c o n t i n u a l r e v i s i o n , " s t i t c h i n g and u n s t i t c h i n g . " The female f i g u r e a g a i n p r o v i d e s the o n l y s o u r c e f o r h i s p o e t i c thoughts o r e x e r t i o n s : " I had a thought f o r no one but your e a r s : /That you were b e a u t i f u l , and t h a t I s t r o v e /To l o v e you i n the o l d h i g h way o f l o v e . " Yet l i k e a poem's bea u t y , h e r beauty i s the f r u i t o f i n d u s t r y : "'To be b o r n woman i s t o know— /Although they do not t a l k o f i t a t s c h o o l — /That we must l a b o u r t o be b e a u t i f u l . ' " "No f i n e t h i n g " p o s s e s s e s e x c e l l e n c e i n i t s own i n h e r e n t n a t u r e ; i n a p o s t -l a p s a r f i a n w o r l d , i t can o n l y be a c h i e v e d through an i n o r d i n a t e e f f o r t comparable w i t h common l a b o u r i n g . The poet r e c o g n i z e s o r i g i n a l s i n , o r r a t h e r t h e n a t u r a l i m p e r f e c t i o n p r e d e s t i n e d f o r a l l men, which t r a n s f o r m s l o v e i n t o an " i d l e t r a d e , " so t h a t human i d e a l s a r e reduced to a common-p l a c e o c c u p a t i o n , • t o t h e l e v e l of commercial b a r t e r . The poet had been s o l e l y d e d i c a t e d to h i s b e l o v e d , l i k e those impassioned devotees of th e c o u r t l y e t h o s , who c o n s i d e r e d l o v e t o be "compounded of h i g h c o u r t e s y . " D e s p i t e , o r because of h i s a b s o l u t e d e v o t i o n , t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p has be-come "As w eary-hearted as t h a t h o l l o w moon." The p o e t ' s u n q u a l i f i e d l o v e 50 i s a t v a r i a n c e w i t h a f a l l e n w o r l d s u b j e c t t o c o n t i n u a l f l u x . The moon, m i s t r e s s of change, - i s a dominant image and f i t t i n g l y she i s the o l d waning moon,,described as " h o l l o w " and "worn" as "a s h e l l /Washed by time's w a t e r s . " T h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p i s l i k e a s h e l l : a l t h o u g h s t i l l b e a u t i f u l , i t i s the empty, dead remainder o f the v i t a l l i f e i t c o n t a i n e d and i s worn by the i n e x o r a b l e t i d e s of change. R e f e r e n c e s to the s e a s -o n a l and d i u r n a l r e v o l u t i o n r e i n f o r c e Y e a t s ' r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of the r e a l m of t e m p o r a l v i c i s s i t u d e . C l e a r l y , the b e l o v e d whose r e l a t i o n s h i p t o the poet has waned i s a c r e a t u r e of m o r t a l i t y , not one o f the i m m o r t a l , unflawed S i d h e . Hence, Yeats c a r e f u l l y p o r t r a y s the p h y s i c a l c o n c r e t e d e t a i l s o f a s p e c i f i c s i t u a t i o n , . t h e time of t h e y e a r and the time of the day. I t i s the end of the summer and of day, and a group of t h r e e are immersed i n e a r n e s t c o n v e r s a t i o n about p o e t r y and l o v e . The mention of t h e word " l o v e " s i l e n c e s d i s c u s s i o n , l e a v i n g them t o t h e i r p r i v a t e t h o u g h t s . Without comment, they watch the s m o u l d e r i n g s u n s e t and the wan moon i n the b l u e -green sky. A l t h o u g h c e r t a i n d e t a i l s bear s y m b o l i c s i g n i f i c a n c e , Y e a t s has e v i d e n t l y been concerned t o d e s c r i b e an a c t u a l event o c c u r r i n g a t a p a r t i c u l a r time and not a r i c h l y - t a p e s t r i e d , immortal realm. Yeats can now a f f i r m w i t h Shakespeare: "My m i s t r e s s when she walks t r e a d s on the ground." The b e l o v e d i s the m o r t a l Muse, the i n s p i r a t i o n a l f i g u r e i n Y e a t s ' p o s t - v i s i o n a r y , human e x p e r i e n c e . I s h o u l d perhaps a t l a s t make some r e f e r e n c e t o the r e d o u b t a b l e M i s s Gonne, the a l l e g e d i n s p i r e r o f a l l Y e a t s ' v e r s e . In "Adam's C u r s e , " Y e a t s i s r e l a t i n g an a c t u a l c o n v e r s a t i o n between h i m s e l f , M i s s Gonne and h e r s i s t e r , K a t h l e e n P i l c h e r . Y e a t s ' p o e t r y i n t h e s e two volumes seems t o c o n c e r n most c l o s e l y h i s p e r s o n a l e x p e r i e n c e and i t s i n s p i r a t i o n a l f i g u r e . None of Y e a t s ' p o e t r y can be r e a d as an a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l c o n f e s -s i o n f o r " a l l t h a t i s p e r s o n a l soon r o t s ; i t must be packed i n i c e o r 4 s a l t " ; — n e v e r t h e l e s s , t h e s e books stem to some degree from Y e a t s ' p r i v a t e a n g u i s h over h i s i n t e n s e l y d i s s a t i s f y i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h Maud Gonne. T h i s p e r i o d o f Y e a t s ' w r i t i n g w i t n e s s e d Maud Gonne's f i n a l r e -j e c t i o n o f Y e a t s and h e r m a r r i a g e t o John M a c b r i d e ; Y e a t s ' work concen-t r a t e s s i g n i f i c a n t l y upon the l o s s o f the Muse, h e r f i c k l e n e s s and c r u e l t y . The l a t t e r q u a l i t y i s a t times a s s o c i a t e d w i t h i n c e n d i a r y p o l -i t i c a l a c t i v i t i e s as i n "No Second T r o y , " which would c o n f i r m r e f e r e n c e to M i s s Gonne and h e r i n t e r m i n a b l e p o l i t i c a l m a c h i n a t i o n s . T h i s m o r t a l Muse i s c h a r a c t e r i z e d p a r t i c u l a r l y by two a s p e c t s of change: the f i r s t i s o b v i o u s l y the p h y s i c a l change e x a c t e d by time, h e r a g i n g , and the second i s the change i n h e r a f f e c t i o n s and a l l e g i a n c e s , h e r " f i c k l e n e s s . I t i s t h e r e f o r e n a t u r a l t h a t the p o e t r y i n these two books i s o f t e n p l a c e d i n a more s u b s t a n t i a l p h y s i c a l c o n t e x t , s u g g e s t i v e of the f i n i t e w o r l d . C r i t i c s have u s u a l l y o b served some a l t e r a t i o n i n Y e a t s ' s t y l e or i n h i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c themes d u r i n g t h i s p e r i o d . Bowra p o i n t s o u t : " I n The Seven Woods (1904) such poems as Adam's Curse show t h a t he had begun t o get c l o s e r t o f a c t , " " * and E l l m a n n , a l s o commenting on "Adam's C u r s e , " t h i n k s the poem i l l u s t r a t e s Y e a t s ' growing c o n c e r n w i t h " v e r i s -i m i l i t u d e . " The theme of the m o r t a l Muse i s prominent i n a number of poems. In "The Arrow,1.' the p o e t ' s thoughts have been concerned w i t h the beauty 52 of h i s b e l o v e d , which i s s y m b o l i z e d as an arrow t h a t has wounded him. T h i s sounds a g a i n the m o t i f o f the d e s t r u c t i v e b e l o v e d , and the arrow may connote t h e c o u r t l y e t h o s , which Y e a t s mentions i n o t h e r poems of t h e s e two s e c t i o n s . The c o u r t l y i d i o m would suggest the e x a g g e r a t e d , l i m i t l e s s d e d i c a t i o n o f t h e poet to, h i s m i s t r e s s , t h e " o l d h i g h way o f l o v e " i n "Adam's C u r s e , " which i s as outmoded and i n e f f e c t u a l as "the h o l l o w moon." The poem p r e v i o u s t o "The Arrow," "In the Seven Woods," uses the comparable image o f the Gre a t A r c h e r w i t h h i s " c l o u d y q u i v e r " p o i s e d o v e r P a i r c - n a - l e e . P o s s i b l y he r e p r e s e n t s a k i n d o f G a e l i c i z e d C u p i d , and Y e a t s i n t e n d s t o evoke w i t h the bow and arrow images a l l the d e s t r u c t i v e n e s s which t y p i f i e s the c o u r t l y i d i o m and i t s sublime devo-t i o n s , f o r example, t h e h i g h i n e f f a b l e t r a g e d y e x p r e s s e d i n "the w o f u l v e r s " o f T r o i l u s ' "double sorwe." In "The Arrow," t h i s d e s t r u c t i v e Muse i s n ot the c h a n g e l e s s Niamh l u r i n g t h e poet from humanity, b u t embodies the i n s p i r a t i o n o f the m o r t a l woman, f o r h e r incomparable beauty which wrought d e s t r u c t i o n has f a d e d i n a w o r l d b e l e a g u e r e d by change. A l t h o u g h t h i s a g i n g Muse i s k i n d e r because h e r beauty can no l o n g e r l e v y i t s f a t a l t o l l , the poet s t i l l r e g r e t s t h e change: " T h i s beauty's k i n d e r , y e t f o r a r e a s o n / I c o u l d weep t h a t t h e o l d i s out o f sea s o n . " The poet would r e a f f i r m h i s a l l e g i a n c e t o t h a t u n a t t a i n a b l e , p e e r l e s s beauty who i n f l i c t e d h i s w o u n d — t h e s o u r c e and the s u b j e c t o f h i s song, h i s lamen-t a t i o n s . "The F o l l y o f B e i n g Comforted" t r e a t s the theme o f the " w e l l -b e l o v e d ' s " a g i n g , and a g a i n Yeats s u g g e s t s the c h a r a c t e r s i n v o l v e d i n an a c t u a l s i t u a t i o n . A f r i e n d r e f l e c t s t h a t t h e po e t ' s l o v e w i l l become 53 tempered by wisdom because of h i s b e l o v e d ' s d i m i n i s h i n g a t t r a c t i o n . The c o n s i d e r a t e f r i e n d c o u n s e l s a l i t t l e p a t i e n c e f o r "Time can but make i t e a s i e r t o be w i s e " — a p i e c e of homespun p h i l o s o p h y w i t h a p r o v e r b i a l r i n g , which i l l u s t r a t e s t h e c o n v e r s a t i o n a l t e n o r t y p i c a l o f t h i s s e l e c -t i o n of poems. Y e a t s ' r e s p o n s e has a d r a m a t i c v e r v e , f o r h i s h e a r t e x c l a i m s i n h o r r o r a g a i n s t t h i s i n t o l e r a b l e c o m f o r t . The poet a b s o l u t e l y d e n i e s time's ravages w i t h a r h e t o r i c a l a s s e r t i o n and g r a n d i o s e g e s t u r -i n g s i m i l a r t o Shakespeare's sonnet: "No Time, thou s h a l t not b o a s t t h a t I do change." Y e a t s c h a l l e n g e s tempus edax refum, and t r a n s f o r m s time i n t o a c r e a t i v e p r o c e s s , t h e Greek K a i r o s : "Time can but make he r beauty over a g a i n . " He i n t i m a t e s t h e unchanging h e r o i c n a t u r e of her b e a u t y , f o r i t s e s s e n t i a l n o b i l i t y makes "The f i r e t h a t s t i r s about h e r , when she s t i r s , " b u rn "but more c l e a r l y . " The metaphor presumably r e f e r s t o h e r c a p a c i t y f o r f i e r y a c t i o n and h e r p a s s i o n a t e r e g a l l i n e a m e n t s , which m a n i f e s t h e r i n n a t e n o b i l i t y . The sonnet c o n c l u d e s w i t h an impassioned O u t b u r s t t h a t s t r e s s f u l l y r e i n f o r c e s h i s d e f i a n c e o f time: "0 h e a r t ! 0 h e a r t ! i f she'd but t u r n h e r head, /You'd know the f o l l y o f b e i n g com-f o r t e d . " i Y e a t s d r a m a t i z e s h i m s e l f i n a s e r i e s o f f i n e l y - c o n t r o l l e d p o s t u r e s assumed towards the m o r t a l Muse; t h e s e a r e comparable b u t , s u b t l y v a r i e d , c o n v e y i n g a s u s t a i n e d emotional, v i t a l i t y and,a s u s t a i n e d r i c h n e s s of i n -v e n t i o n and d r a m a t i c g e s t u r e . In "Old Memory," she i s the m o r t a l i n d i -v i d u a l a f t e r whom a l l the g r e a t queens of myth, the immortal Muses, were p a t t e r n e d . The poet says t h a t h e r s t r e n g t h c a l l s t o mind "The queens t h a t were imagined l o n g ago." She i s a p a r t b o t h of h i s own memories 54 and the a n c i e n t memory of man, the c o l l e c t i v e u n c o n s c i o u s o r Anima Mundi. In "Under the Moon," t h e s e l o f t y queens of C e l t i c d o m a r e approached from a c o n t r a r y v i e w p o i n t t o t h a t u s u a l l y adopted, by Y e a t s , and i t i s a v i e w p o i n t provoked by h i s c o n c e r n w i t h the human w o r l d of change and f l u x . The poet r e l a t e s a whole c l u s t e r o f famous C e l t i c l egends w i t h t h e i r femme f a t a l e f i g u r e s . He i n c l u d e s Nimue ( o r .Vivien) who seduced i n t o a l i v i n g d e ath the most eminent m a g i c i a n and a r t i f i c e r o f t h a t age; D e i r d r e whose beauty e f f e c t e d g r e a t t r a g e d y and many d e a t h s ; G u i n e v e r e whose i l l i c i t p a s s i o n f i n a l l y caused the d i s i n t e g r a t i o n o f the most renowned Order of Knighthood i n the w o r l d ; and Niamh and Fand of the S i d h e , the one the seducer of the p o e t , O i s i n , and the o t h e r of the g r e a t e s t hero of C e l t i c a n t i q u i t y , C u c h u l a i n . The poet can d i s c o v e r "no h a p p i n e s s i n dreaming," i n w r i t i n g v e r s e about t h e s e u n p a r a l l e l e d d e s t r u c -t i v e b e a u t i e s , and t h e r e a d e r assumes t h a t Y e a ts i s c e n s u r i n g the o u t -rageous r u i n e f f e c t e d by t h e s e queens. T h i s i m p r e s s i o n i s s t r e n g t h e n e d i n the f i r s t s e c t i o n of t h e poem, because Y e a t s mentions the r e c i p i e n t s o f the d e s t r u c t i v i t y and the i m p o r t a n t p l a c e s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h them, r a t h e r t h a n the queens' names. He b e g i n s : " I have no h a p p i n e s s i n dream-i n g o f B r y c e l i n d e , " and the r e a d e r ' s p r i m a r y a s s o c i a t i o n i s w i t h M e r l i n ' s d e c e p t i o n by the m a l i c i o u s Nimue and h i s r e s u l t i n g entombment. The con-c l u d i n g s t a n z a i s a c o n t r i v e d s u r p r i s e , because Yeats i s not b e w a i l i n g the d e s t r u c t i v e n e s s o f b e a u t y , but the r u i n which t h a t beauty i t s e l f s u f f e r s : "To Dream of women whose beauty was f o l d e d i n dismay, /Even i n an o l d s t o r y , i s a burden not t o be b o r n e . " Yeats does not a m p l i f y t h i s t e r s e statement w i t h any d e t a i l , but presumably he wishes t o evoke the 55 sorrow, t r a g i c change, even t h e d e a t h , which b e s e t t h e s e queens i n t h e i r i n d i v i d u a l s t o r i e s . He can t h i n k o n l y o f the sadness of Niamh, the l o s s t h a t Fand s u f f e r s . Change and m o r t a l i t y comprise a major theme o f the volume, and thus the p o e t ' s dreaming now d w e l l s upon a view o f the femme  f a t a l e consonant w i t h t h i s s u b j e c t . The "burden not t o be b o r n e " c l e a r l y works as a pun, i n d i c a t i n g b o t h the wearisome weight o f , and the song o r poem about,,beauty i n dismay. P o e t r y on t h i s s u b j e c t i s not t o l -e r a b l e t o the p o e t , but even u n m i t i g a t e d , c h a n g e l e s s j o y i n the Land o f the L i v i n g had i t s own, though l e s s e r i n s u f f i c i e n c y . Whether the poet i s "Under the Moon" o r beyond the moon's v i c i s s i t u d e , he cannot know f i n a l s a t i s f a c t i o n . Other poem's i n The Seven Woods c o n c e n t r a t e upon change i n the be-l o v e d , but n o t change r e s u l t i n g from d e s t r u c t i v e time o r d e s t r u c t i v e c i r -cumstance, r a t h e r from the b e l o v e d ' s own v o l i t i o n , . h e r d e l i b e r a t e f i c k l e n e s s . A g a i n she i s the m o r t a l woman,.and h e r i m p e r f e c t i o n i s not caused t h r o u g h the p r o c e s s o f a g i n g , b u t through h e r s h a l l o w , i n c o n s i d e r -a t e c h a r a c t e r . She compares w i t h some of those f i c k l e , u n a t t a i n a b l e , c r u e l b e a u t i e s of the c o u r t l y e t h o s , who were worshipped w i t h b o u n d l e s s a d o r a t i o n and s a c r i f i c e . In "Never G i v e A l l the H e a r t , " the poet says c r y p t i c a l l y t h a t a p a s s i o n a t e woman's v e r y c r i t e r i a f o r l o v e a r e t r a n s -i e n c y and t h e a t r i c a l i t y and t h a t a permanent, r e a l , s e r i o u s d e v o t i o n t o he r must l e a d t o d i s a s t e r . The women have " g i v e n t h e i r h e a r t s up to the p l a y " and i r o n i c a l l y the p o e t , whose o c c u p a t i o n i s a r t i f i c e , p l a y i n g r a t h e r than a c t u a l , p a r t i c i p a t i o n , has been u n a b l e t o " p l a y i t w e l l enough." B i o g r a p h e r s may c e r t a i n l y be c o r r e c t i n r e l a t i n g the poem t o 56 Y e a t s ' d e j e c t i o n over Maud Gonne, f o r the poem seems t o have a more p e r -s o n a l l y s p l e n e t i c tone than much o f Y e a t s ' work: "He t h a t made t h i s knows a l l t h e c o s t , /For he gave a l l h i s h e a r t and l o s t . " 7 The a r t i f i -c e r c o u l d f a s h i o n the poem, but c o u l d not f a s h i o n t h e p l a y , the a r t i -f i c i a l game of l o v e . He succeeded i n h i s a r t w i t h the s k i l l of the a r t i f i c e r , b u t was t r a g i c a l l y u n a ble t o t r a n s l a t e t h a t s k i l l i n t o h i s a c t u a l e x p e r i e n c e . "0 Do Not Love Too Long" t r e a t s the same theme: t h e . poet t h r o u g h h i s s u s t a i n e d l o v e has grown "out of f a s h i o n , " the. phrase i n d i c a t i n g the t r i v i a l i t y o f the woman's attachment t o him. The Green Helmet and Other Poems d e s c r i b e s the two a s p e c t s o f change i n t h e b e l o v e d , which were c e n t r a l t o the p r e v i o u s volume. Here, she i s more f r e q u e n t l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h H e l e n as the d e s t r u c t i v e and h e r o i c b e a u t y o f Greek myth, c e l e b r a t e d by Y e a t s ' p r o t o t y p e , Homer. In "Peace," h i s b e l o v e d i s the m o r t a l , i n d i v i d u a l H e l e n , the sublime a r c h e -t y p e o f r u i n o u s l o v e l i n e s s . However, the White Goddess has. here s o f t e n e d and mellowed w i t h age, and f i n a l l y succumbed t o peace. Yet h e r p e r s o n a l q u a l i t i e s have aged h e r as much as the d e p r a d a t i o n s o f time: i f h e r e n t i r e l i f e had not been a "storm," had not been d e d i c a t e d t o s t r i f e , she would have t h a t h e r o i c n o b i l i t y of b e a r i n g and e x p r e s s i o n , a p a i n t e r ' s f i t t i n g s u b j e c t . A g a i n , the f i g u r e p o s s e s s e s i n d i v i d u a l and a r c h e t y p a l f e a t u r e s ; t h e p a r t i c u l a r c o m b i n a t i o n o f t h e s e i n any g i v e n poem v a r i e s , so t h a t the Muse i s never a f o r m u l a i c e x p r e s s i o n and "can e s c a p e — i n t o 8 the abundance and depth o f n a t u r e . " In "Peace" and t h e o t h e r poems of the s e l e c t i o n , Y e a t s a g a i n i n t e n d s some r e f e r e n c e t o Maud Gonne as the m o r t a l Muse, and she i s p a r t i c u l a r l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h an h e r o i c s o c i e t y , i t s d i g n i f i e d , f i e r c e a c t i o n . The Muse seems a l s o t o be the M o r r i g u . Y e ats e u l o g i z e s h e r o i c b e a u t y i n a s t o r y of a peasant woman's v i s i o n o f Queen Maeve: " T h i s o l d woman who can n e i t h e r r e a d n or w r i t e , has come f a c e t o f a c e w i t h h e r o i c b e a u t y , t h a t ' h i g h e s t b e a u t y , ' which B l a k e s a y s , 'changes l e a s t from y o u t h t o age,' a beauty t h a t has been f a d i n g out of the a r t s , s i n c e t h a t decadence, we c a l l p r o g r e s s , s e t v o l u p t u o u s 9 beauty i n i t s p l a c e . " A f t e r r e l a t i n g v a r i o u s appearances of Maeve and her company o f b e a u t i f u l w a r r i o r s , he co n c l u d e s w i t h a t a l e about Maeve's f l e e t i n g l o v e o f a m o r t a l p o e t , who, d e s e r t e d , can o n l y r e c i t e l a m e n t a t i o n s f o r h i s l o s t paramour. . T h i s i s no s e n s u a l , f l e s h l y Muse, arid i n The Green Helmet and Other Poems Y e a t s a s s o c i a t e s h er w i t h t h e h e r o i n e s o f a n t i q u i t y , p a r t i c u l a r l y w i t h the Greek -heroic e r a but a l s o i m p l i c i t l y w i t h C e l t i c pagandom, f o r b o t h s o c i e t i e s c h e r i s h e d the same v a l u e s and the same v i r t u e s . "No Second T r o y " i l l u s t r a t e s t h i s r e f e r -ence t o the Greek h e r o i c age w i t h i t s i m p l i e d comparison t o the g l o r i o u s C e l t i c h e r i t a g e . The poem's h e r o i n e i s a k i n t o the Greek s p i r i t as the T r o j a n a l l u s i o n e v i d e n c e s , but she a l s o e x e m p l i f i e s the t r a i t s o f the t y p i c a l C e l t i c h e r o . In h i s s t u d y o f C e l t i c h e r o i s m , Z w e r d l i n g s t a t e s t h a t t h e s e q u a l i t i e s a r e p r i m a r i l y l e a d e r s h i p and courage o f an exagger-a t e d , r e c k l e s s n a t u r e , such as C u c h u l a i n ' s d efence of U l s t e r s i n g l e -handed a g a i n s t an e n t i r e army."*"^ Z w e r d l i n g c o n t i n u e s by p o i n t i n g out t h a t t h e mass s l a u g h t e r , which i s t h e h a l l m a r k o f such e x p l o i t s , t e s t i -f i e s t o "a b a s i c s a v a g e r y a t the r o o t o f the hero's v a l o r , which g i v e s him much o f h i s p a s s i o n and f i e r c e n e s s . " He i s s t u b b o r n , f e a r l e s s and o f t e n r a s h l y c a r e l e s s o f l i f e . S i m i l a r l y , Y e a t s ' Muse i s a l e a d e r o f 58 men, t h e i r i n c e n d i a r y a d v o c a t e , f o r she would t e a c h them " v i o l e n t w a y s — Had they but courage e q u a l t o d e s i r e . " The Muse h e r s e l f p o s s e s s e s the g i f t o f u n f a l t e r i n g courage and t h a t i n n a t e f e r o c i t y and p a s s i o n of the e p i c code; t h u s , her beauty i s most f i t t i n g l y compared w i t h a t i g h t e n e d bow. T h i s b r i l l i a n t image conveys the h e r o i c dimensions of her a t t r a c -t i o n and i t s r e a d y , t a u t d e s t r u c t i v i t y . The c o u r t l y , decorous images of arrow and q u i v e r have been superceded by a p o w e r f u l weapon, t i g h t e n e d and p o i s e d f o r s h o o t i n g by one, of those v i g o r o u s Homeric w a r r i o r s . The s i m i l e s o f bow and f i r e — w e a p o n s and the e v o c a t i o n of b u r n i n g c i t a d e l s — a p t l y convey the b e l o v e d as the M o r r i g u o r the p a s s i o n a t e , war-hungry Maeve o f Cruachan. Thus, her beauty speaks o f a former e r a and i s "not n a t u r a l i n an age l i k e t h i s , /Being h i g h and s o l i t a r y and most s t e r n . " " N a t u r a l " c o u l d be a pun, i n d i c a t i n g h e r u n k i n d n e s s , because t h i s Amazonian bea u t y has s c a r c e l y been c o n s i d e r a t e of the p o e t ' s f e e l -i n g s . He t r i e s t o excuse her i n f l i c t i o n o f c o n t i n u a l m i s e r y upon him by a s s e r t i n g t h a t , h e r i m p e r i a l , w a r - l i k e c h a r a c t e r i s a s u f f i c i e n t exoner-a t i o n i n i t s e l f : "Why, what c o u l d she have done, b e i n g what she i s ? /Was t h e r e another T r o y f o r h e r to b u r n ? " T h i s i s a somewhat c r y p t i c exoner-a t i o n , f o r the poet a c c e p t s t h a t h e r d a z z l i n g , i n t r e p i d c h a r a c t e r can o n l y b r i n g d e s t r u c t i o n : b e i n g what she i s , what e l s e can she do but d e s -t r o y ? She has the e p i c s a vagery and r e c k l e s s n e s s , and they i n f o r m her . l o n e l y s u p e r i o r i t y . C l e a r l y , t h i s h e r o i c beauty i s a l s o the m o r t a l Muse, f o r Yeats i n v e s t s the poem w i t h t a n g i b l e c i r c u m s t a n c e s and r e l a t e s i t e x p l i c i t l y t o h i s own e x p e r i e n c e : she has f i l l e d h i s days w i t h sorrow and taught 59 v i o l e n t measures to the " i g n o r a n t . " On a p e r s o n a l l e v e l , she i s the i n c e n d i a r y Maud Gonne who squandered the p o e t ' s l o v e and her own l o f t i -n e s s , e s p o u s i n g v i o l e n c e and the p h i l i s t i n e mob. A l t h o u g h she i s h e r -s e l f m o r t a l , . s h e i s the human o r i g i n a l f o r the h e r o i c a r c h e t y p e ; on the u n i v e r s a l l e v e l , she i s the e p i c h e r o i n e i n d i f f e r e n t t o h e r own l i f e and to p e r s o n a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s , p i t c h i n g e v e r y t h i n g i n t o the h y p e r b o l i c g l o r y o f b a t t l e and c o n f l i c t which a l o n e can s a t i s f y h e r needs. Y e a t s has d e x t r o u s l y b u i l t i n the c o n f l i c t i n g a n g l e s of v i s i o n adopted towards t h i s d e s t r u c t i v e , y e t superb Muse. In "A Woman Homer Sung," the poet a g a i n c e l e b r a t e s the m o r t a l and h e r o i c Muse. Y e a t s e s t a b l i s h e s a temporal c o n t e x t f o r the poem by r e -l a t i n g h i s y o u t h f u l e x p e r i e n c e s i n l i f e t o h i s mature achievements i n a r t . The r o m a n t i c p r e - p o s s e s s i o n of the p o e t ' s y o u t h s t i m u l a t e d a l i f e -t i me's w r i t i n g , devoted to the e x p r e s s i o n of h i s Muse's beauty, Now, " b e i n g g r e y , " he c l a i m s to have r e a l i z e d h i s a e s t h e t i c d e s i r e and p o s t e r -i t y w i l l c o n f i r m t h a t "he shadowd i n a g l a s s /What t h i n g h e r body,was." The b e l o v e d w i l l have changed or p e r i s h e d , b e i n g a c r e a t u r e of f l u x , b u t h e r r e f l e c t i o n i n h i s p o e t r y w i l l remain. He v o u c h s a f e s t h a t p o e t i c i m m o r t a l i t y t r a d i t i o n a l l y o f f e r e d t o the ephemeral m i s t r e s s of unchanging song. The a r c h e t y p e f o r h i s i n d i v i d u a l b e l o v e d i s the i n s p i r a t i o n a l f i g u r e of Homeric v e r s e , presumably H e l e n — b e a u t y w i t h " f i e r y blood", b e l o n g i n g t o an h e r o i c c u l t u r e . However, the m o r t a l b e l o v e d seems t o be the l i v i n g embodiment o f t h i s a r c h e t y p e : her t r a n s i e n t , y e t inhumanly h e r o i c b e a u t y seems to deny a l l human i m p e r f e c t i o n . One of Y e a t s ' c h e r -i s h e d i d e a l s i n the n i n e t i e s was the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n o f l i f e i n t o a r t , of 60 b r u t e f a c t i n t o v i s i o n , and h e r e the m o r t a l Muse seems i n h e r s e l f no l e s s e r t h i n g t h a n a work of a r t , but a work which can o n l y be permanent through i t s p o e t i c r e f l e c t i o n . She seems a masterwork of l a b o u r i n g thought, making l i f e and a r t e x p r e s s i v e o f the h e r o i c a r t i f i c e , so "That l i f e and l e t t e r s seem /But an h e r o i c dream." She i s the l i v i n g exemplar of H elen's e x c e l l e n c e , and the poet a l i g n s h i m s e l f w i t h Homer as the commemorator of h e r o i c , d e s t r u c t i v e b e a u t y . I t i s the f i r s t o f many poems i n which Y e a t s assumes the Homeric r o l e . Y e a t s saw h i m s e l f as the s i n g e r o f eminent e p i c t r a d i t i o n s and o f m a j e s t i c e p i c beauty and t h i s s e l f - s t y l e d r o l e p e r s i s t s i n much of h i s w o r k — f o r example, "The Tower" a s s o c i a t e s t h e poet w i t h "beauty's b l i n d r a m b l i n g c e l e b r a n t . " D u r i n g a d i s c u s s i o n o f the m a n i f o l d s i g n i f i c a n c e s o f the swan image, Hoffman p o i n t s out the s e r i o u s importance of the Homeric s t a n c e f o r Y e a t s : "Nor i s i t i n a p p r o p r i a t e t o remember t h a t i t was as a swan t h a t Jove c o v e r e d Leda, and from t h e i r u n i o n was b o r n H e l e n of T r o y whose beauty brought i n t o b e i n g a l l of Homer's song. And Y e a t s ' s song, l i k e Homer's, i s e p i c by d e s i g n . The p a r a l l e l may seem i n e x a c t , b u t we s h a l l see t h a t i n a v e r y l i t e r a l sense, Y e a t s c o n s i d e r e d h i s themes analogous t o those o f the b l i n d p o e t , f i n d i n g t h e a n c i e n t r e l i g i o n and h e r o i c t a l e s of I r e l a n d i d e n t i c a l w i t h those of Greece, and h o p i n g to e x p r e s s the c h a r a c t e r o f h i s c o u n t r y as Homer had done f o r h i s . Yeats d i d d e s i r e t o r i d e i n t h a t empty s a d d l e where Homer rode."''""'" C e r t a i n l y , the comparison of Greek and C e l t i c myth i s a r e c u r r e n t f e a t u r e o f Y e a t s ' p r o s e w r i t i n g , f o r he f e l t p r o f o u n d l y the s i m i l a r i t y o f the two m y t h i c a l w o r l d - p i c t u r e s , t h e i r s i m i l a r " w i l d b e a u t y " and t h e i r s i m i l a r p o t e n t i a l i t y f o r s h a p i n g and 61 12 i n s p i r i n g a p r e s t i g i o u s c u l t u r e and a p r e s t i g i o u s n a t i o n . He a l s o f e l t t h a t t h e importance of a m y t h i c a l r e v i v a l would not be a s i m p l y p a r o c h i a l one, but would p r o v i d e a n e c e s s a r y e f f l o r e s c e n c e o f imag-i n a t i v e power i n European t r a d i t i o n , "a new i n t o x i c a t i o n f o r t h e imag-13 i n a t i o n of t h e w o r l d . " I n i t i a l l y , t h e poet had j o u r n e y e d w i t h e t h e r e a l Niamh i n t o the t a b l e a u x o f C e l t i c m y t h o l o g i c a l d e s i g n s ; he next i n v o k e d t h e Muse as A l c h e m i c a l Rose f o r h i s death i n t o v i s i o n . The Rose's s o v e r e i g n t y was then u s u r p e d by the Homeric i d e a l o f s t u r d y womanhood, p a r t i c u l a r l y H e l e n , and Y e a t s superimposes upon t h i s the f i e r c e q u a l i t i e s o f the war-r i o r queens of C e l t i c d o m . , The a r c h e t y p e of h e r o i c beauty i s r e l a t e d t o t h e i n d i v i d u a l l i v i n g goddess—Maud Gonne. A l l t h e s e d i v e r s e f a c e s b e l o n g e s s e n t i a l l y t o t h e G a e l i c Muse, and the s t a u n c h G a e l i c Muse and h e r l o f t y Homeric devotee a r e , as i n Y e a t s ' p r e v i o u s e x p r e s s i o n of the f i g u r e s , t r e a t e d w i t h c h a r a c t e r i s t i c v a r i o u s n e s s and d e p t h . The r e l a t i o n o f b i o g r a p h y to myth e l i c i t s p a r t i c u l a r l y s t r i k i n g e f f e c t s i n the poems of t h i s p e r i o d v a r y i n g from poignancy to comedy. In "No Second T r o y , " I have d i s c u s s e d the p o e t ' s p e r s o n a l a n g u i s h at M i s s Gonne's p o l i t i c a l r a b b l e - r o u s i n g and h i s b i t t e r a c c e p t a n c e of t h i s a c t i v i t y through under-s t a n d i n g o f h e r i n d o m i t a b l e c h a r a c t e r . I have a l s o mentioned the v a r i o u s emotions and a t t i t u d e s the p o e t ' s mixed response i n f u s e s i n t o the poem. H i s a p p r e c i a t i o n o f h e r h e r o i c beauty l e a d s to censure and e u l o g y , l o v e and b i t t e r n e s s , which he t r i e s t o accommodate i n t o a s t o i c a l , y e t d e s p a i r i n g wisdom. Depth of p e r s o n a l emotion and involvement a r e r e l a t e d t o the i m p e r s o n a l Homeric r o l e , and the i n t e n s e l y i n d i v i d u a l de-v o t i o n i s a l s o a detached e p i c c e l e b r a t i o n o f d e s t r u c t i v e l o v e . 62 In "A Woman Homer Sung," the r e l a t i o n of the i n d i v i d u a l s i t u a t i o n to t h e e p i c r o l e has a comic i n c o n g r u i t y . The poet d e s c r i b e s h i s y o u t h -f u l r e s ponse t o M i s s Gonne who d i r e c t l y i n s p i r e d h i s c r e a t i v i t y : "Whereon I wrote and wrought" (my i t a l i c s ) . The e l a t e d , puppy-dog en-thu s i a s m o f the boy s c a r c e l y a c c o r d s w i t h Homeric s t a t u r e . I f any man, approached h i s b e l o v e d , t h e poet q u i v e r e d w i t h h a t e and f e a r because he a s s i g n e d r o m a n t i c i n t e n t i o n s t o the i n t r u d e r . Y e t , i f the man passed h e r by w i t h i n d i f f e r e n c e , the poet saw t h i s i n d i g n a n t l y as a " b i t t e r wrong" p e r p e t r a t e d a g a i n s t h i s b e l o v e d . The p i c t u r e o f a h i g h l y - w r o u g h t , s e n s i t i v e , " b e a r d l e s s " y o u t h i s a b s u r d l y a t v a r i a n c e w i t h h i s m a g n i f i c e n t Homeric s t a n c e . The c o n t i n u i n g changes i n the d e s c r i p t i o n o f poet and Muse add g r e a t v e r s a t i l i t y and s i g n i f i c a n t d e t a i l t o the poems, so t h a t Y e a t s n e v e r l i m i t s t h e s e r e c u r r e n t personae t o mere f o r m u l a s . I n t e r e s t -i n g l y , "A Woman Homer Sung" a l s o i n d i c a t e s t h a t Y e a t s was t h o r o u g h l y aware o f t h a t i n d i v i d u a l i d i o s y n c r a s y which Auden a s c r i b e s t o him: "You were s i l l y l i k e u s ; your g i f t s u r v i v e d i t a l l . " I t a l s o i n d i c a t e s Y e a t s ' e q u a l awareness t h a t h i s g i f t would s u r v i v e i t a l l . A s i m i l a r h e r o i - c o m i c or t r a g i - c o m i c v e i n i s e v i d e n t i n "Recon-c i l i a t i o n " ; the poet a g a i n e x p r e s s e s h i s i n d i v i d u a l p e r p l e x i t y w i t h r e -l a t i o n t o the Muse i n terms of t h e c o n t r a s t between the l o f t y and the abs u r d . The poem r e f e r s t o t h e m o r t a l Muse who has d e p r i v e d the poet of a l l j o y . He r e c a l l s the memorable day when she d e s e r t e d him and i t seemed t h a t h i s sense p e r c e p t i o n s were v i t i a t e d , as i f from the impact of l i g h t n i n g . Y e a t s c l a i m s t h a t h er d e p a r t u r e meant the l o s s o f h i s most p o i g n a n t l y communicative p o e t r y , because she "took away /The v e r s e s 63 t h a t c o u l d move them" ( h i s r e a d e r s ) , and s u b s e q u e n t l y he laments: " I c o u l d f i n d /Nothing t o make a song about but k i n g s , /Helmets, and swords, and h a l f - f o r g o t t e n t h i n g s /That were l i k e memories of you." Ellmann comments t h a t Y e a t s t u r n e d t o dramas on I r i s h h e r o i c themes a f t e r the 14 l o s s o f Maud Gonne,. presumably because drama i n v o l v e s a l e s s p e r s o n a l r e v e l a t i o n than p o e t r y , and Y e a t s was a b l e t o absorb h i m s e l f i n the d i s -t r a c t i n g p r a c t i c a l i t i e s o f t h e a t r e b u s i n e s s and s t a g e p r o d u c t i o n . The s p l e n d i d h e r o i c t r a p p i n g s of these p l a y s were a l l mere memories o f ; h e r , h i s h e r o i c Muse; and they were I n t e n s e l y d i s s a t i s f y i n g memories f o r h i s p o e t i c " t h o u g h t s " s i n c e h e r d e p a r t u r e have been u n p r o d u c t i v e and f r i g i d , " b a r r e n " and "have c h i l l e d [him] t o the bone." The poet t r i e s somewhat l a c o n i c a l l y i n "No Second T r o y " to excuse h i s b e l o v e d , and h e r e he appears t o go f u r t h e r i n p r o p o s i n g t h i s " R e c o n c i l i a t i o n " w i t h h e r . To e f f e c t t h i s , the poet p o r t r a y s h i m s e l f as an a c t o r i n a " l a u g h i n g , weeping f i t , " e x p e r i e n c i n g the s i m u l t a n e o u s i n t e r a c t i o n o f j o y and sorrow, which p o s s i b l y s u g g e s t s the mixed b l e n d of emotions i n the t r a g i -comic. W h i l s t u n d e r g o i n g t h i s t e a r f u l e l a t i o n , t h e poet a v e r s t h a t he w i l l " H u r l h e l m e t s , crowns, and swords i n t o the p i t " ; h a v i n g a c c o m p l i s h e d r e c o n c i l i a t i o n , he d i s p e n s e s w i t h the h e r o i c s t a g e - p r o p e r t i e s which he s u b s t i t u t e d f o r h i s Muse. However, the r e c o n c i l i a t i o n seems a t h e a t r i c a l o n e — a n a c t o r ' s r e h e a r s e d , flamboyant g e s t u r e . The use of t h e word " f i t " i n v e s t s the g e s t u r e w i t h a sense o f v b o t h a b s u r d i t y and impermanence, s i n c e the term a u t o m a t i c a l l y s u g g e s t s a p a s s i n g o u t b u r s t of e n t h u s i a s t i c h y s t e r i a . Thus, t h e r e seems to be no q u e s t i o n of complete r e c o n c i l i a -t i o n w i t h h i s e a r l y Muse f i g u r e s , whether Niamh or H e l e n , and a f t e r The 64 Green Helmet and Other Poems he c o n s i d e r a b l y reduces the emphasis g i v e n t o them. In no subsequent volume, does the Muse s e r v e as the major, s t r u c t u r i n g theme. T h i s change may p o i n t t o the i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n o f Y e a t s ' c o n c e r n w i t h t h e f i n i s h e d work of a r t r a t h e r than the i n s p i r a t i o n f o r t h a t work, w i t h the complete, p o l i s h e d a r t e f a c t r a t h e r than the a e s t h e t i c p r o c e s s from g e s t a t i o n t o f i n a l accomplishment. T h i s i s not to suggest t h a t Y e a t s was e v e r l e s s than p r e o c c u p i e d w i t h the a c h i e v e d p o e t i c form, but t h a t the form assumed an added, d i s t i n c t i v e i m portance. L e n t r i c c h i a has d i s c u s s e d the f l u c t u a t i o n s of the Y e a t s i a n a e s t h e t i c , though he i s r e l u c t a n t t o c h a r t a d e f i n i t e l i n e o f d e v e l o p -ment, f e e l i n g t h a t Y e a t s ' views change from poem t o poem and even w i t h i n the b o u n d a r i e s o f a s i n g l e work. However, he does i l l u s t r a t e a g e n e r a l p a t t e r n i n the p r o g r e s s of Y e a t s ' concept of a r t . L e n t r i c c h i a s t a t e s t h a t "Romantic t h e o r y , s p i r i t u a l i s m and the m a g i c a l s t r a i n i n the sym-b o l i s t a e s t h e t i c tended to l i f t him out of time and beyond the p r e s s u r e s o f an a l i e n w o r l d , " y e t " h i s s k e p t i c a l mind tended to make him shy from a view of the poet and r e a l i t y which- i g n o r e d the m i r e o f e m p i r i c a l experience.""'""' Y e a t s ' e a r l i e s t p o e t r y i s c l e a r l y concerned w i t h the p o e t ' s t r a n s c e n d e n c e of t h e phenomenal w o r l d , a l t h o u g h O i s i n cannot f o r -get t h a t w o r l d ' s a t t r a c t i o n , even the a t t r a c t i o n o f i t s f l a w s and weak-n e s s e s . The i n t r a c t a b l e v a g a r i e s of the e m p i r i c a l w o r l d assume much g r e a t e r importance about 1902, as L e n t r i c c h i a s u g g e s t s , and the s h i f t o f emphasis i n c o n t e n t i s accompanied by a p p r o p r i a t e s t y l i s t i c changes. G r a d u a l l y , Y e a t s ' p r i n c i p a l c o n c e r n emerged as the v e r b a l medium i t s e l f , which c o u l d predominate over t r a n s c e n d e n c e and f a c t . V i s i o n a r y 65 t r a n s c e n d e n c e had i n i t i a l l y d e c e i v e d the p o e t , and had f i n a l l y d i s s o l v e d , l e a v i n g him i n a h o s t i l e , i n c a l c u l a b l e w o r l d where a l l f i n e t h i n g s needed "much l a b o u r i n g . " Yeats emphasizes the poet's making, h i s " f i n i t e s h a p i n g w i l l , " which p r o v i d e s a new freedom from c h a o t i c , f a l l e n e x p e r -16 i e n c e , w i t h o u t n e c e s s i t a t i n g the r e j e c t i o n of t h a t e x p e r i e n c e . L e n t r i c c h i a e x p l a i n s t h i s l a s t s i g n i f i c a n t change i n h i s . s e c t i o n , "Towards a Y e a t s i a n P o e t i c of W i l l , " commenting t h a t "The c a r v i n g w i l l became the i n s t r u m e n t t h a t t r a n s f o r m e d e x p e r i e n c e by a b s t r a c t i n g i t i n language. . . . the f r e e i m a g i n a t i o n working w i t h i n a d e t e r m i n i s t i c u n i -verse.""'' 7 Thus, the poet c r e a t e s h i s Muse, she does n o t c r e a t e him; the Muse i s an a r t e f a c t . I n the two volumes of p o e t r y s t u d i e d , the. Muse r e t a i n e d h e r i n d e -pendent e x i s t e n c e , and t h e poet i s seen i n a s e r i e s o f d r a m a t i c p o s t u r e s a t t e m p t i n g to accommodate her i n f i d e l i t y , h e r r e c k l e s s h e r o i s m , h i s s e p a r a t i o n from h e r and an ambiguous r e u n i o n . She s t i l l s e r v e s as t h e s o l e m o t i v a t i o n f o r h i s v e r s e , and Y e a t s comments t h a t i f he had e v e r managed to communicate w i t h her "[He] might have thrown poor words away /And been c o n t e n t t o l i v e . " Concomitant w i t h t h i s , Y e a t s i n c r e a s i n g l y s t r e s s e s t h e p o e t ' s s h a p i n g c r a f t , which i n d i c a t e s a growing c o n c e r n w i t h h i s a r t r a t h e r than h i s Muse. M a n i f o l d images a r e used t o convey the p o e t ' s v e r b a l m a n i p u l a t i o n or h i s s h e e r p h y s i c a l l a b o u r , as i n "Adam's C u r s e . " S i n c e spontaneous n a t u r a l beauty i s p r e - l a p s a r i a n , the poet must hammer the shape of b e a u t y , and metaphors e x p r e s s the manual or t e d i o u s l y d o m e s t i c l a b o u r i n v o l v e d , such as " s t i t c h i n g and u n s t i t c h -i n g " i n "Adam's C u r s e , " o r Pegasus t r a n s f o r m e d t o a c a r t - h o r s e d r a g g i n g 66 l o a d - m e t a l i n "The F a s c i n a t i o n of What's D i f f i c u l t . " In t h i s l a t t e r poem, Pegasus no l o n g e r l e a p s i n s p r i g h t l y f a s h i o n from Olympian c l o u d to, c l o u d , but must " S h i v e r under the l a s h , s t r a i n , sweat and j o l t , " which a l l . s u g g e s t t h e p h y s i c a l a n g u i s h of making a poem. In one of the l a t e r works of The Green Helmet and Other Poems, the Muse i s d e s c r i b e d i n terms o f the a r t e f a c t . In "The Mask," she i s s y m b o l i z e d as an e x u b e r a n t l y f a s h i o n e d mask of b u r n i n g g o l d w i t h emerald ey e s , an e x q u i s i t e s t a g e p r o p e r t y , which r e p r e s e n t s a l l the poet can e v e r know about h i s p e r p l e x i n g Muse. L i f e i s compounded of i l l u s i o n s and the p o e t . c a n never d i s c e r n whether l o v e or d e c e i t u n d e r l i e s h i s be-l o v e d ' s performance: 'I would but f i n d what's t h e r e t o f i n d , Love o r d e c e i t . ' ' I t was the mask engaged your mind, And a f t e r s e t your h e a r t to b e a t , Not what's b e h i n d . ' 'But l e s t you a r e my enemy, I must e n q u i r e . ' '0 no, my dear, l e t a l l t h a t be; What m a t t e r , so t h e r e i s but f i r e I n you, i n me?' Man's p e r c e p t i o n i s i n a d e q u a t e because i t i s f r a u g h t w i t h h i s own i l l u s -i o n s and c o n f u s e d by the d e c e i t of o t h e r s . The b e l o v e d a s s u r e s him t h a t i t was e s s e n t i a l l y t h i s j e w e l l e d t h e a t r i c a l mask which i n s p i r e d h i s a f f e c t i o n s and t h o u g h t s ; he had not p e r c e i v e d t h a t she was a p e r f o r m e r , nor can he now d i s c o v e r what h e r performance c o n c e a l e d . She r e f u s e s to d i s c a r d the mask, so t h a t the poet can never apprehend the t r u t h o f the human drama, o f women engaged i n the a r t f u l " p l a y " o f l o v e ; l i f e becomes a s e r i e s o f g l i t t e r i n g s u r f a c e s and o b s c u r e l y p e r c e i v e d r e a l t i o n s h i p s . C o n v e r s e l y , i n h i s own work the poet can be s u r e of the mask, the a r t e -f a c t , because he c r e a t e s i t . The i l l u s i o n of a r t f a s h i o n e d by the a r t i s t i s t r u t h f u l i n t h a t i t does not p r o f e s s t o be r e a l , i t i s an acknowledged a r t i f i c e t h a t the poet c o n t r o l s and d e s i g n s . The poet cannot m a n i p u l a t e the a r t i f i c e s adopted by h i s m o r t a l and h i s t r i o n i c Muse, but he i s a P r o s p e r o mage w i t h the a r t i f i c e s o f h i s c r a f t . Thus, the development o f the Muse i l l u s t r a t e s Y e a t s ' s h i f t i n g f o c u s upon tr a n s c e n d e n c e and m o r t a l i t y , and f i n a l l y upon the t o i l of the a r t i f i c e r , h i s hammered g o l d and g o l d e n a m e l l i n g . 68 NOTES •*"W. B. Y e a t s , S t o r i e s o f Red Hanrahan: The S e c r e t Rose: Rosa  A l c h e m i c a (London: A. H. B u l l e n , 1931), p. 224. 2 D a n i e l Hoffman, Barbarous Knowledge: Myth i n the P o e t r y o f Y e a t s , Graves and M u i r (1967; r p t . New York: O x f o r d U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1970), p. 200. 3 A. Norman J e f f a r e s , A Commentary on the C o l l e c t e d Poems of W. 13. Y e a t s ( S t a n f o r d : S t a n f o r d U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1968), p. 92. ~~ ~ 4 W. B. Y e a t s , E s s a y s and I n t r o d u c t i o n s (1961; r p t . London: Mac-m i l l a n , - 1969) , p. 522. ^C. M. Bowra, The H e r i t a g e of Symbolism (1943; r p t . London: Mac-m i l l a n , 1967) , p. 193. R i c h a r d E l l m a n n , ' Y e a t s : The Man and t h e Masks (1948; r p t . New York: D u t t o n , n . d . ) , p. 152. One of the major i n f l u e n c e s upon t h i s s t y -l i s t i c r e v i s i o n i s c o n s i d e r e d t o be Y e a t s ' i n c r e a s i n g i n t e r e s t i n drama. See f o r example, P e t e r Ure, Y e a t s (London: O l i v e r and Boyd, 1963): "Yet i t seems c e r t a i n t h a t i t was t h e p l a y w r i g h t ' s r e a d i n e s s t o submit t o the o b l i g a t i o n t o d r a m a t i s e p e r s o n a l i t i e s t h a t changed the c h a r a c t e r of Y e a t s ' l y r i c v e r s e , and made t h a t d r a m a t i c , t o o . . . . I t i s t h e e s t a b -l i s h m e n t o f c o n t a c t w i t h the personae and t h e i r speech t h a t makes , "Adam's C u r s e , " t h e most s i g n i f i c a n t , i f not the most f l a w l e s s , poem i n the 1904 c o l l e c t i o n In t h e Seven Woods" (pp. 51-52). ^ J e f f a r e s , p. 127. g E s s a y s and I n t r o d u c t i o n s , p. 87. q W. B. Y e a t s , "'And F a i r , F i e r c e Women!" M y t h o l o g i e s (1959; r p t . London: M a c m i l l a n , , 1 9 7 0 ) , pp. 57-59. - ^ A l e x Z w e r d l i n g , Y e a t s and the H e r o i c I d e a l (New York:New York U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1965), p. 54. ^ H o f f m a n , p. 18. 12 -Essays and I n t r o d u c t i o n s , p. 205. 13 E s s a y s and I n t r o d u c t i o n s , p. 187. 14 E l l m a n n , p. 169. 69 15 Frank L e n t r i c c h i a , The G a i e t y of Language: An E s s a y oh the R a d i - c a l P o e t i c s of W. B_. Y e a t s and W a l l a c e Stevens ( B e r k e l e y : U n i v e r s i t y o f C a l i f o r n i a P r e s s , 1968), p. 56. 16 L e n t r i c c h i a , p. 60. " ^ L e n t r i c c h i a , p. 70. CHAPTER IV SELF CREATION IN OLD AGE: THE MUSE AS ARTEFACT The volume f o l l o w i n g The Green Helmet, w i t h i t s r a t h e r sober t i t l e R e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s , i l l u s t r a t e s t h e c o n s i d e r a b l e i n c r e a s e i n the number o f themes used by Y e a t s i n h i s l a t e r p o e t r y . Y e a t s has l a i d the ghost o f h i s e a r l y p r e o c c u p a t i o n s : the l o n g i n g f o r death i n t o ' f u l f i l m e n t o r the sorrow e f f e c t e d by h i s m o r t a l , h e r o i c Muse were never a g a i n t o s e r v e as c r u c i a l e m o t i o n a l i m p u l s e s f o r w r i t i n g p o e t r y . I t i s p r o b a b l e t h a t the poet's p e r s o n a l l i f e w i t h i t s s h i f t i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p s c o n t r i b u t e d l a r g e l y t o the r e d u c t i o n i n emphasis upon the Muse; Maude Gonne was u n r e l e n t i n g , I s e u l t ' s c o u r t s h i p was not d e s p e r a t e l y s e r i o u s and Y e a t s was s h o r t l y t o s e t t l e i n t o the c o m f o r t a b l e harmony o f m a r r i e d l i f e . The u n a t t a i n a b l e and w a r r i o r Muse was no l o n g e r a h a r s h r e a l i t y , but became a c o n t r o l l a b l e image i n a whole network o f c a r e f u l l y wrought images. Fragments o f the e a r l i e r Muse f i g u r e s do remain, but a r e tr a n s f o r m e d i n the r i c h e r t e x t u r e and b r o a d e r scope of. the l a t e r works. However, I would not agree w i t h the p r e v a l e n t c r i t i c a l view t h a t the pre-1917 poems a r e remarkable but minor,^ f o r they have the p o w e r f u l , urgent s i m p l i c i t y o f the f i n e s t l y r i c s . The f i r s t poem i n R e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s ( e x c l u d i n g the p r e f a t o r y i n v o -c a t i o n ) i s d e d i c a t e d t o the deceased membership of the " C h e s h i r e Cheese," w i t h whom Y e a t s had " l e a r n e d [ h i s ] t r a d e . " T h i s i n t r o d u c t o r y address t o the Rhymers' Club i n d i c a t e s h i s change from the f i n de ' s i i c l e e t h o s , f o r he disavows t h a t d e a t h - o r i e n t e d p a s s i o n m a n i f e s t e d i n The Wind among.the  Reeds. P a s s i o n and f u l f i l m e n t a r e not the p r e r o g a t i v e s o f death or a k i n d o f g h o s t l y t r a n s c e n d e n c e , a l t h o u g h he says t o h i s former a s s o c i a t e s : "You may t h i n k I waste my b r e a t h / P r e t e n d i n g t h a t t h e r e can be p a s s i o n /That has more l i f e i n i t than d e a t h . " The o t h e r poems i n the volume t r e a t a g r e a t v a r i e t y o f themesj such as the Magi, the awry wisdom of beggar and h e r m i t , the i n e q u i t y o f government appointment and a lament f o r r o m a n t i c I r e l a n d as e x e m p l i f i e d i n i t s dead h e r o e s , O'Leary, F i t z -g e r a l d , Emmet and Tone.. A l s o , a group o f poems r e v o l v e upon the t h r e e s i g n i f i c a n t p u b l i c c o n t r o v e r s i e s on the I r i s h scene which had most impres sed Y e a t s i n t h i r t y y e a r s — t h e P a r n e l l f i a s c o , Hugh Lane's d o n a t i o n of 2 p a i n t i n g s and the f u r o r aroused by The P l a y b o y . In the m i d s t of a l l t h i s p o l i t i c a l and s o c i a l a g i t a t i o n , Y e a ts c o u n s e l s an u t t e r l y p r i v a t e j o y : "Be s e c r e t and e x u l t /Because of a l l t h i n g s known /That i s most d i f -f i c u l t . " T h i s a d v i c e t o Lady Gregory i n "To a F r i e n d Whose Work Has Come t o N o t h i n g " s t r i k e s a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c note i n Y e a t s ' l a t e r work, which t e s t i f i e s t o a c o n f i d e n c e and a s s u r a n c e i n the i n d i v i d u a l ' s unique a b i l i t y t o f a s h i o n h i s own s o l i t a r y s a t i s f a c t i o n . Both p u b l i c a c c l a i m and e x t e r n a l i n s p i r a t i o n a r e unimportant to the a r t i f i c e r who f o r g e s h i s own p r i v a t e e x u l t a t i o n . L a t e r , i n " N i n e t e e n Hundred and N i n e t e e n , " Yeats i s a b l e t o c o n f r o n t the d e s t r u c t i o n e n g u l f i n g I r e l a n d and the b i t t e r knowledge of u n i v e r s a l d e s t r u c t i o n because a g a i n he r e j e c t s the commonplace n o t i o n of p u b l i c s o c i a l v i c t o r y : " a l l triumph would /But break upon h i s g h o s t l y s o l i t u d e . " A l i g n i n g h i m s e l f w i t h "Some P l a t o n i s t , 72 he goes so f a r as t o r e v e r s e the t r a d i t i o n a l a s p i r a t i o n f o r i m m o r t a l i t y which most men h o l d and which most p o e t r y b o a s t s : . . . i f our works c o u l d But v a n i s h w i t h our b r e a t h That were a l u c k y d e a t h , F o r triumph can but mar our s o l i t u d e . He u n i t e s h i s views of t h e b a n a l i t y of p u b l i c triumph and the b a n a l i t y of triumph over time, a s s e r t i n g t h a t he i s s a t i s f i e d w i t h the t r a n s i e n t , l o n e l y e x u l t a t i o n of h i s a r t : I am s a t i s f i e d w i t h t h a t , S a t i s f i e d i f a t r o u b l e d m i r r o r show i t , B e f o r e t h a t b r i e f gleam o f i t s l i f e be gone, An image of i t s s t a t e . The a r t i f i c e r i s c o n t e n t w i t h the f a s h i o n i n g o f h i s e x c l u s i v e w o r l d , however b r i e f . In L e n t r i c c h i a ' s p h r a s i n g , Y e a ts i n s i s t s upon h i s " c a r v -i n g w i l l " as a f r e e autonomous c r a f t s m a n t o f a s h i o n h i s own w o r l d and 3 h i s own e t h o s . Thus, Y e a t s sees triumph as a mere i n t r u d e r upon the i n d i v i d u a l ' s " s e c r e t m e d i t a t i o n , " i f n o t i t s s p o i l a t o r . L i k e an a s c e t i c , he seeks o n l y the most d i f f i c u l t g o a l t o a c h i e v e : "Be s e c r e t and e x u l t . " A r t a l l o w s the poet c o n t r o l over the f i n i t e a n d . t r a n s c e n d e n t w o r l d s be-cause he can make them, and a l t h o u g h poet and poem may be f l e e t i n g , Y e a t s can f e i g n e t e r n i t y , c r e a t i n g the " a r t i f i c e o f e t e r n i t y , " as i n " S a i l i n g t o Byzantium." E t e r n i t y can become the p o l i s h e d a r t e f a c t of the g o l d s m i t h , o r of any o f t h o s e unmatched B y z a n t i n e c r a f t s m e n , the m o s a i c i s t , book i l l u m i n a t o r , and f o r g e r of p r e c i o u s m e t a l s . I s h a l l not t r e s p a s s any f u r t h e r i n t o the l a t e r works, s i n c e i t i s c l e a r t h a t the 73 a r t i f i c e r r e p l a c e s the Muse as the dominant theme, a l t h o u g h i t i s i n t e -g r a t e d i n t o an e x t r e m e l y d i v e r s e p a t t e r n w i t h many o t h e r s i g n i f i c a n t m o t i f s . With the p r i n c e l y d i g n i t y o f t h e aged P r o s p e r o , the poet manip-u l a t e d t h e images and themes of h i s l a t e r p o e t r y , the f e i g n e d l y immortal 4 puppets of h i s " f i n i t e s h a p i n g w i l l . " The Muse, i f she were not the p o e t ' s a r t e f a c t , would be an i m p e r t i n e n t i n t r u d e r upon a r t i s t i c s o l i t u d e . In R e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s , o n l y t h r e e poems r e f e r t o the M u s e — " F a l l e n M a j e s t y , " " F r i e n d s , " and "That the N i g h t Come." These c o u l d be con-s i d e r e d t r a n s i t i o n a l poems, r e c a l l i n g e a r l i e r f a c e t s o f t h e Muse, but p l a c i n g them i n the p e r s p e c t i v e of Y e a t s ' mature a t t i t u d e s and emotions. In " F r i e n d s , " t h e t i t l e i t s e l f i n d i c a t e s the d i s t i n c t i v e change i n the poet'towards h i s Muse, Maud Gonne. She i s i n c l u d e d i n a e u l o g y w i t h two o t h e r f r i e n d s , Lady Gregory and D i a n a Vernon, which i m p l i e s a r e d u c t i o n of h e r importance and of Y e a t s ' impassioned s e r v i c e . The poet i s now an o l d man, and t h i s becomes h i s most c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s t a n c e i n the l a t e r p e r i o d ; the p e r s o n a . o f t h e aged poet i s c l o s e l y l i n k e d w i t h the Muse's p o r t r a y a l as a r t e f a c t , an a s s o c i a t i o n which i s f u l l y c r y s t a l l i z e d i n "The Tower." In " F r i e n d s , " Y e a t s wonders how he can p o s s i b l y c e l e b r a t e t h a t d e s t r u c t i v e , p i t i l e s s b e l o v e d of h i s y o u t h : And what of h e r t h a t took A l l t i l l my y o u t h was gone With s c a r c e a p i t y i n g l o o k ? How c o u l d I p r a i s e t h a t one? The p o e t ' s e m o t i o n a l response t o h i s own q u e s t i o n i l l u s t r a t e s t h a t he has f i n a l l y a c c o m p l i s h e d r e c o n c i l i a t i o n w i t h h e r because an abundant 74 "sweetness" f l o w s from h i s " h e a r t ' s r o o t " ; the c o r e o f h i s e m o t i o n a l l i f e r e g i s t e r s i n f i n i t e l y p l e a s u r a b l e s e n s a t i o n s o f h e r . Y e a t s uses t o maxi-mum e f f e c t what Ellmann terms "the r e c o n c i l i n g image," f o r the problem-a t i c q u e s t i o n i s not answered but t r a n s c e n d e d by metaphor: "The emotion t h a t f l o w s from h i s h e a r t ' s r o o t l i k e sap i n a t r e e i s a r e s o l u t i o n t h a t t r a n s c e n d s argument.""' The Muse i s now a f r i e n d , and Yeats has p l e a s a n t memories o f h e r p a s t beauty. In " F a l l e n M a j e s t y , " the t i t l e i s a g a i n i m p o r t a n t : i t i n d i c a t e s t h a t she i s no l o n g e r the h e r o i c Muse f o r her m a j e s t i c b e a u t y has p e r i s h e d . In a f a l l e n w o r l d , even the h e r o i c Muse must endure the " F a l l , " the i m p e r f e c t i o n o f a g i n g ; she c o u l d not at l a s t d e f y time and t h e poet can o n l y s i n g o f what she once was: " I r e c o r d what's gone." "That the N i g h t Come" i s the most i n c i s i v e a n d , d i r e c t l y u r g e n t of the t h r e e poems. Y e a t s connotes the h e r o i c Muse by a d a z z l i n g a nalogy w i t h k i n g s h i p , which makes c l e a r h i s mature a t t i t u d e towards h e r ard e n t h e r o i s m . She has " l i v e d i n storm and s t r i f e , " i n c o n t i n u a l d i s -c o r d , because she yearned "For what proud death may b r i n g , " i n t o l e r a n t o f t h e "common good o f l i f e . " I n t h i s s i n g l e - m i n d e d o b s e s s i o n , she compares w i t h a k i n g who would f i l l h i s m a r r i a g e day w i t h the t e r r i b l e d i s c o r d o f trumpet, k e t t l e d r u m and cannon, i n o r d e r "To bundle time away /That t h e n i g h t come." The k i n g i s eager f o r t h e n i g h t of l o v e and the h e r o i n e f o r the n i g h t o f d e a t h . The everyday l i f e o f the h e r o i c Muse has been a mere i r r i t a t i o n , f o r she was r e c k l e s s l y absorbed i n the p u r -s u i t of e p i c g l o r y . "That the N i g h t Come" w i t h i t s c r y p t i c double r e f -e r e n ce i s one of the s i m p l e s t and most p o w e r f u l l i n e s i n the Y e a t s i a n canon, though many of Y e a t s ' l i n e s would, s e r v e as A r n o l d i a n t o u c h s t o n e s f o r p o e t r y . Y e a t s c o n t i n u a l r e v i s i o n , h i s " s t i t c h i n g and u n s t i t c h i n g , " seems t o have e l i m i n a t e d weak p h r a s i n g ; h i s a r t e f a c t remains s t u b b o r n l y unflawed. The W i l d Swans a t COOle emphasizes s t r o n g l y the theme of the a g i n g p o e t . The t i t l e poem i t s e l f s t r e s s e s the p o e t ' s age, and Yeats mentions the g r e a t number of y e a r s s i n c e he f i r s t counted those b e a u t i -f u l c r e a t u r e s . The poem i s f i t t i n g l y s e t i n an autumnal t w i l i g h t , and the s o l i t a r y poet m e d i t a t e s upon how e v e r y t h i n g has changed f o r him i n c o n t r a s t w i t h the c h a n g e l e s s and p a s s i o n a t e swans: Unwearied s t i l l , l o v e r by l o v e r , They p a d d l e i n the c o l d Companionable streams o r climb the a i r ; T h e i r h e a r t s have not grown o l d ; P a s s i o n or conquest, wander where they w i l l , A t t e n d upon them s t i l l . The p a t t e r n r e p r e s e n t e d by t h e swans s u r v i v e s unchanged, but th e i n d i -v i d u a l changes. Bloom r e g a r d s "The W i l d Swans at C o o l e " as the f i r s t poem i n which "Yeats swerves c r u c i a l l y away from the S h e l l e y a n quest f o r t h e d a i m o n i c b e l o v e d . " ^ He concurs w i t h J e f f a r e s ' view t h a t the poem laments the demise o f Y e a t s ' p a s s i o n r a t h e r than f r u s t r a t e d d e s i r e , and c o n t i n u e s t o d e s c r i b e t h e a c t u a l c i r c u m s t a n c e s s u r r o u n d i n g the poem's i n c e p t i o n : A man of f i f t y - o n e l o o k s upon the same scene he saw a t t h i r t y - t w o . He comes t o the scene a g a i n a f t e r h a v i n g proposed m a r r i a g e a g a i n t o the same woman as n i n e t e e n y e a r s b e f o r e h a n d a f t e r b e i n g r e f u s e d , y e t a g a i n . But h i s p r i m a r y awareness i s not o f a d i s m a l , almost r i d i c u l o u s c o n t i n u i t y , between an e a r l i e r and a l a t e r s e l f . D i s c o n -t i n u i t y dominates, f o r the d e p r e s s i o n of n i n e t e e n y e a r s b e f o r e was at the r e f u s a l , but the d e p r e s s i o n of 1916 i s f o r not f e e l i n g 76 d e p r e s s i o n a t t h e c o n t i n u e d r e f u s a l . H i s h e a r t has grown o l d , and i t s s o r e n e s s i s t h a t i t s h o u l d have aged.7 • Thus, the poem's m e l a n c h o l y i s to be a t t r i b u t e d t o Y e a t s ' d e b i l i t a t i n g sense of o l d age, which subsumes, a l l o t h e r s o u r c e s of m e l a n c h o l y , p a r t i c -u l a r l y h i s u n a t t a i n a b l e Muse. S i m i l a r l y , he f e e l s the i m p r o p r i e t y , i f not the i m p o s s i b i l i t y , o f p a s s i o n a t e d e v o t i o n i n "The L i v i n g Beauty": . . . 0 h e a r t , we a r e o l d ; The l i v i n g beauty i s f o r younger men: We cannot pay i t s t r i b u t e o f w i l d t e a r s ; Here, the onus f o r h i s c o n c e r n w i t h s c u l p t u r e d , wrought forms r e s t s en-t i r e l y w i t h h i s age, which n e c e s s i t a t e s the s u r r e n d e r of the l i v i n g t o the marmoreal b e a u t y : I bade, because the wick and o i l a r e spent And f r o z e n a r e the channels o f the b l o o d , My d i s c o n t e n t e d h e a r t to draw c o n t e n t From beauty t h a t i s c a s t but of a mould In b r o n z e , or t h a t i n d a z z l i n g marble a p p e a r s . A l t h o u g h a whole spectrum of a e s t h e t i c and p e r s o n a l m o t i v a t i o n s e f f e c t e d the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n of the Muse i n t o an a r t e f a c t , the major p e r s o n a l one i s the p o e t ' s age. A number of poems i n the t h r e e volumes, R e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s , The  W i l d Swans at C o o l e , and M i c h a e l Robartes and the Dancer, touch upon some a s p e c t o f the aged poet and the Muse, such as " L i n e s W r i t t e n i n D e j e c t i o n " w i t h i t s "Banished h e r o i c mother moon," "Men Improve w i t h the Y e a r s , " "A Song," "His P h o e n i x , " and "Broken Dreams." O f t e n t h e s e works a l s o d i s -cuss the p o e t ' s a r t , w h i l s t o t h e r poems f o c u s almost e x c l u s i v e l y upon the 77 theme of the a r t i f i c e r , f o r example, "The D o l l s " or the r a d i c a l l y d i s -s i m i l a r "Ego Dominus Tuus." In "The D o l l s , " the most v e n e r a b l e d o l l s h r i e k s i n i n d i g n a t i o n a t t h a t " n o i s y , f i l t h y t h i n g , " a human baby, and the c u l p a b l e d o l l - m a k e r ' s w i f e excuses h e r s e l f by s a y i n g t h a t the baby was an a c c i d e n t . The d o l l s a r e the r e s u l t of the d o l l - m a k e r ' s purposed d e s i g n , the s u r e t y of the a e s t h e t i c s h a p i n g p r o c e s s , whereas the human baby i s an a c c i d e n t a l o c c u r r e n c e , dependent upon the u n c e r t a i n t y and s h a p e l e s s n e s s of human p r o c e s s e s . However, r a t h e r than a s s e m b l i n g the m i n u t i a e of t h e s e poems, I s h a l l c o n c e n t r a t e upon the prominent t i t l e poem o f the volume f o l l o w i n g M i c h a e l Robartes and the Dancer, "The Tower," which d e x t r o u s l y b r i n g s t o g e t h e r many p e r t i n e n t f a c t o r s r e l a t i n g to the aged poet and h i s " s e l f - b e g o t t e n " Muse. "The Tower" i s c e r t a i n l y the p r i n c i p a l poem which e x p l o r e s the a g i n g p o e t ' s r e a d j u s t m e n t to t h e Muse as a v e r b a l c o n s t r u c t . The f i r s t s e c t i o n o f the poem r e g i s t e r s t h e p o e t ' s b a f f l e m e n t about t h e sheer " a b s u r d i t y " o f h i s age, which i s f i t t i n g l y e x p r e s s e d i n comic f a s h i o n as a can t i e d to a dog's t a i l . The image c a r r i e s the f u l l weight o f Y e a t s ' sense of a b s u r d i t y . The p o e t ' s l u d i c r o u s age means t h a t he s h o u l d " b i d the Muse go pack" and r e q u i r e s the a b n e g a t i o n o f i m a g i n a t i v e and s e n s o r y e x p e r i e n c e ( " i m a g i n a t i o n , e a r and e y e " ) . Y e a t s s h o u l d now pursue P l a t o n i c a b s t r a c t p h i l o s o p h y , which r e p r e s e n t e d these e x p e r i e n t i a l realms as a mere shadow. The p o e t ' s age seems to deny him an impassioned d e d i -c a t i o n t o the female f i g u r e , and the accompanying d e l i g h t e d senses and d e l i g h t e d i m a g i n a t i o n . H i s quandary i s h e i g h t e n e d because p r e c i s e l y those f a c u l t i e s which s h o u l d be d i m i n i s h e d a r e i n f a c t i n t e n s i f i e d : 78 Never had I more . E x c i t e d , p a s s i o n a t e , f a n t a s t i c a l I m a g i n a t i o n , nor an e a r and eye That more expected the i m p o s s i b l e . Yeats proceeds t o e l a b o r a t e upon t h i s problem i n the d i v e r s e , motleyed t e x t u r e o f the second s e c t i o n . He p l a c e s h i m s e l f i n the s p e c i f i c l o c a l e of Thoor B a l l y l e e a t a s p e c i f i c time o f the day, t w i l i g h t , and thus e s t a b l i s h e s a c o n c r e t e s e t t i n g , which i s a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c Y e a t s i a n f e a t u r e a f t e r The Wind Among the Reeds. He paces upon the d a r k e n i n g b a t t l e m e n t s of Thoor B a l l y l e e , and c o n j u r e s up "Images and memories" a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the immediate v i c i n i t y . He g i v e s the d e t a i l s of v a r i o u s s t o r i e s w i t h a b o i s t e r o u s humour, and i n i t i a l l y the e x a c t r e l a t i o n o f these t a l e s t o h i s problem seems vague. The f i r s t t a l e about Mrs. F r e n c h and h e r l o y a l b u t l e r i l l u s t r a t e s Y e a t s ' manner of n a r r a t i o n . He p o i n t s t o the p a r t i c u l a r l o c a t i o n o f Mrs. F r e n c h ' s house, g e s t u r i n g w i t h t h a t r e c u r r e n t , s t r e s s f u l , Y e a t s i a n d e m o n s t r a t i v e : "Beyond t h a t r i d g e l i v e d Mrs. F r e n c h . " Mrs. F r e n c h ' s s e r v i n g man had brought her the c l i p p e d e a r s of an i n s o l e n t farmer and, w i t h f i n e c o n s i d e r a t i o n and d e l i c a c y , he p l a c e d them i n "a l i t t l e covered d i s h . " The i n c o n g r u i t y between the e l e g a n c e and h o r r o r of the b u t l e r ' s a c t i o n i s s k i l f u l l y e l i c i t e d . However, the gay, r a t h e r t r u c u l e n t rhyme, the q u i c k , l i g h t movement of the v e r s e and the comedy i n h e r e n t i n the b a r b a r o u s l y d e l i c a t e , deny any s u g g e s t i o n of the farmer's t r a g e d y and a l l s e r v e s i m p l y to h i g h l i g h t the s p r i g h t l y v i g o u r o f the t a l e . A l -though the s t o r y was e n a c t e d i n the e n v i r o n s o f Thoor B a l l y l e e , i t o t h e r w i s e seems remote from the p o e t ' s problem. 79 T h i s o l d s t o r y i s i m m e d i a t e l y j u x t a p o s e d w i t h a t a l e about Mary Hynes, who was a c t u a l l y remembered by "some few" i n the p o e t ' s y o u t h . Thus because of h i s age, Y e a t s f e e l s c l o s e l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the f a b u l o u s s t o r i e s o f t h e I r i s h t r a d i t i o n ; l a t e r i n the poem, he comments t h a t he has h i m s e l f become " f a b u l o u s , " a term which i s o f t e n a p p l i e d to l e g e n d a r y m a t e r i a l and the O t h e r w o r l d , the Realm of F a e r i e . The t r a g i - c o m i c exag-g e r a t i o n o f h i s age makes him o l d enough to be a p a r t o f I r e l a n d ' s h e r i t a g e , o f i t s momentous s t o c k of l e g e n d s . Mary Hynes was c e l e b r a t e d by the b l i n d b a l l a d p o e t , R a f t e r y , and he has c l e a r l y c r e a t e d Mary's beauty i n v e r s e f o r h e r p r a i s e ; h e r com-mendation r e s i d e s e s s e n t i a l l y i n song: "Some few remembered s t i l l when I was young /A peasant g i r l commended by a song." I t seems i n i t i a l l y t h a t h e r beauty was the b o a s t of the c o u n t r y s i d e and her p r e s e n c e caused h e a t e d c o n f u s i o n and b u s t l e : ". . . i f walked she t h e r e /Farmers j o s t l e d a t the f a i r . " However, the l a s t l i n e u n d e r c u t s the e f f i c a c y o f h e r a c t u a l , l i v i n g p r e s e n c e a t t h e f a i r , a t t r i b u t i n g the farmer's e x c i t e m e n t t o t h e fame of the song, n o t t o the fame o f h e r b e a u t y : "So g r e a t a g l o r y d i d the song c o n f e r . " The f o l l o w i n g s t a n z a c o n t i n u e s the s t o r y by d e s -c r i b i n g a rowdy d r i n k i n g s e s s i o n , where the r e v e l l e r s f i n a l l y s e t out f o r B a l l y l e e t o see the b e a u t i f u l Mary Hynes. In a drunken s t u p o r , one o f them stumbles i n t o the g r e a t bog o f Cloone and i s drowned. In t e l l i n g the o l d weaver's s t o r y a l r e a d y r e c o r d e d i n "'Dust h a t h c l o s e d Helen's g E y e , " 1 Y e a t s makes a s i g n i f i c a n t a d d i t i o n by a t t r i b u t i n g t o the d r i n k e r s the d e s i r e o f t e s t i n g " t h e i r f a n c y by t h e i r s i g h t . " A r t i s to be com-pared w i t h i t s l i v i n g i n s p i r a t i o n ; the Muse as a r t e f a c t i s t o be compared 80 w i t h the m o r t a l Muse. Such a f o o l h a r d y quest can o n l y l e a d to d e s t r u c -t i o n and one man s u f f e r s an u n d i g n i f i e d demise i n Cloone bog. A r t i s a r t because i t i s not l i f e , and Yeats c o n t i n u e s by e l a b o r a t i n g upon the d i s t i n c t i o n between the two: S t r a n g e , but t h e man who made the song was b l i n d ; Y e t , now I have c o n s i d e r e d i t , I f i n d That n o t h i n g s t r a n g e ; the t r a g e d y began With Homer t h a t was a b l i n d man, And H e l e n has a l l l i v i n g h e a r t s b e t r a y e d . R a f t e r y must have f a s h i o n e d Mary's beauty through h i s i m a g i n a t i v e f a c u l t y , f o r h i s b l i n d n e s s meant t h a t the Muse c o u l d o n l y be an i n v e n t e d image. In "A Woman Homer Sung," Y e a t s p o s t u l a t e d an a e s t h e t i c o f i m i t a t i o n : "He shadowed i n a g l a s s /What t h i n g h e r body was"; now, h i s work i s not i m i -t a t i v e b u t p u r e l y c r e a t i v e , " s e l f - b e g o t t e n . " Y e a t s has s t r e n g t h e n e d the i m p r e s s i o n o f t h e p r e v i o u s s t a n z a s t h a t the r o l e s o f poet and Muse a r e r e v e r s e d , f o r the b l i n d poet i s h i s own s o u r c e o f c r e a t i v i t y and f a s h i o n s the Muse's image. The poet i s no l o n g e r a q u i v e r i n g , a n g u i s h - r i d d e n boy s u b j e c t t o the d e s t r u c t i v e whims of h i s Muse, but the l o r d l y a r t i f i c e r who c o n f e r s e x c e l l e n c e and fame upon h i s s u b j e c t . P a r a d o x i c a l l y , i n t h i s e x c e l l e n c e l i e s b o t h the worth and the t r a g e d y o f the a r t i s t i c p r o -c e s s . S i n c e a r t , u n l i k e i t s c r e a t o r , i s not l i m i t e d by the d e t e r m i n i s t i c p r o c e s s e s o f n a t u r e , i t can c r e a t e o r f e i g n a s u p e r i o r and permanent beauty.. L i f e i s n e c e s s a r i l y b e t r a y e d i n the attempted comparison w i t h a r t , the i d e a l r e a l m . H e l e n i s an image, an a r t e f a c t i n the b l i n d Homer's p o e t r y , and she has b e t r a y e d " a l l l i v i n g h e a r t s , " a l l e a r t h l y l o v e r s , who a r e flawed by the i m p e r f e c t i o n s o f t h e i r human n a t u r e and by 81 the a g i n g p r o c e s s e s o f u n i v e r s a l n a t u r e . The imagined Muse i s one of those " s e l f - b o r n mockers o f man's e n t e r p r i s e " i n "Among S c h o o l C h i l d r e n " : the images p r o j e c t e d by nuns, mothers and a r t i s t s mock t h e i r c r e a t o r f o r they a r e s u p e r i o r t o a l l man can e x p e r i e n c e i n the a c t i v i t i e s , the e n t e r -p r i s e o f h i s a c t u a l l i f e . T h i s t r a g e d y , however, must remain the po e t ' s i n t e n t i o n . The t r a g i - c o m i c drowning o f the r e v e l l e r who mi s t o o k the moon's l i g h t f o r t h e sun's i s the p o e t ' s avowed purpose: 0 may the moon and s u n l i g h t seem One i n e x t r i c a b l e beam, For i f I triumph I must make men mad. T r a g i c d e a t h i s now caused by. the p o e t ' s a r t e f a c t , r a t h e r than by the l i v i n g Muse. The a l l u s i o n s t o R a f t e r y and Homer a r e thus d i r e c t l y r e l a t e d t o the problem o f t h e aged p o e t . D e s p i t e or even because o f s e n s o r y l i m i t a -9 t i o n s , R a f t e r y and Homer have c r e a t e d i d e a l l y b e a u t i f u l Muses. The p h y s i c a l o r s e n s o r y l i m i t a t i o n s of age do not a f f e c t the i m a g i n a t i v e f a c u l t y , and thus the s e l f - c r e a t e d Muse i s a c o n g e n i a l concept t o the a g i n g p o e t . There a r e numerous r e f e r e n c e s t o the sense p e r c e p t i o n s o r sense organs i n "The Tower," which c o a l e s c e i n t o a p a t t e r n . The b l i n d -ness presumably r e l a t e s t o the d e b i l i t y of the s l i p p e d e a r s , which i s an absurd l e i t - m o t i f upon t h e theme o f s e n s o r y l i m i t a t i o n s . In the f i r s t s e c t i o n , the f u l l a b s u r d i t y of h i s age imaged as a can t i e d t o a dog's t a i l s e t s the t r a g i - c o m i c f e e l i n g f o r the poem and i n t r o d u c e s one o f i t s e f f e c t i v e t e c h n i q u e s — t h e p o i g n a n t l y absurd image. L a t e r i n t h e poem, Yeats mentions a g a i n the c l i p p e d e a r and a l s o t h a t Mrs. F r e n c h was 82 " g i f t e d w i t h so f i n e an e a r , " which p r o v i d e s a b r i l l i a n t l y comic double  e n t e n d r e . The s e r i o - c o m i c v a r i e t y of p h y s i c a l . a n d s e n s o r y l i m i t a t i o n s e x p l o r e d thus f a r i n "The Tower" may be t r a n s c e n d e d by the i m a g i n a t i o n , which a l l o w s man t o c r e a t e what he has not p e r c e i v e d through the s e n s e s . C l e a r l y , i n "The Tower," the "matter of I r e l a n d " s e r v e s as an e x p r e s s i v e v e h i c l e f o r Y e a t s ' views about a r t and about h i s Muse. I t i s t r u e t h a t Y e a t s f o c u s e s upon I r i s h t a l e r a t h e r than the more remote I r i s h myth, but where the one f a d e s i n t o . t h e o t h e r i s i n c a l c u l a b l e . F o r the most p a r t , they s h a r e d the same o r i g i n i n the memory of the I r i s h peasan-t r y ; he had e s c o r t e d Lady Gregory from c o t t a g e to c o t t a g e , c o l l e c t i n g m a t e r i a l f o r Gods and F i g h t i n g Men and C u c h u l a i n of Muirthemne, and the t a l e s about Mary Hynes were r e l a t e d t o him by the I r i s h c o u n t r y f o l k , as he makes c l e a r i n "'Dust h a t h c l o s e d Helen's E y e . ' " ^ Y e a t s reworks t h e s e t a l e s i n t o f i n e v i g n e t t e s , g i v i n g t h o se n a r r a t i v e d e t a i l s and those n a r r a t i v e a d d i t i o n s which r e l a t e m e a n i n g f u l l y t o h i s theme. The a l i g n -ment o f R a f t e r y and Homer a c c o r d s w i t h Y e a t s ' i n s i s t e n t a s s o c i a t i o n of Greek and I r i s h c u l t u r e and w i t h h i s own assumption as an I r i s h b a r d of t h e Homeric r o l e , the c e l e b r a t o r of Helen's d e s t r u c t i v e b e a u t y . Y e a t s g i v e s a l i s t o f o t h e r cognate s t o r i e s which a r e a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the e n v i r o n s of Thoor B a l l y l e e , but i t would be t e d i o u s to e x p l i -c a t e them a l l . The s t o r y o f Red Owen Hanrahan predominates over the remainder of the l o c a l t a l e s . Hanrahan i s y e t another poet f i g u r e who b e a r s a c e n t r a l r e l a t i o n t o Y e a t s ' problem. He i s s t y l e d a f t e r the G a e l i c b a r d , Owen 0 ' S u l l i v a n the Red,"^ and Y e a t s had i n v e n t e d a whole s e r i e s o f t a l e s about O ' S u l l i v a n ' s a c t i v i t i e s i n The S t o r i e s o f Red 83 Hanrahan: "And I m y s e l f c r e a t e d Hanrahan." Yeats b e g i n s t o r e c o l l e c t t h e s e e a r l i e r n a r r a t i v e s . L i k e the r e v e l l e r s of the p r e v i o u s v e r s e s , Hanrahan had s e t out t o f i n d t h e a c t u a l l i v i n g woman, i n t h i s c a s e , h i s sweetheart, Mary L a v e l l e , and he had been u n s u c c e s s f u l i n h i s q u e s t . He was e n t i c e d i n t o a m a g i c a l game o f c a r d s , when suddenly the pack o f c a r d s changed i n t o a pack o f hounds and a h a r e . Hanrahan f o l l o w s the chase u n t i l he e n c o u n t e r s S l i e v e E c h t g e , the Queen o f the S i d h e . The poet f i n a l l y r e f u s e s her b o u n t i f u l g i f t s and i s r e t u r n e d to the m o r t a l w o r l d a f t e r a y e a r has e l a p s e d . I t i s then too l a t e f o r Hanrahan t o c l a i m h i s m o r t a l b e l o v e d , who i s i r r e t r i e v a b l y l o s t . The s t o r y r e p h r a s e s the dichotomy e x p e r i e n c e d by O i s i n who was a t t r a c t e d by the d u a l w o r l d s of a r t and l i f e , and Hanrahan c o u l d be c o n s i d e r e d r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f the poet p e r s o n a which o c c u r s i n Y e a t s ' e a r l y v e r s e . Y e a t s i s i n v o k i n g h i s y o u t h f u l s e l f o r t h e a r t i s t as a young man. However, The S t o r i e s o f Red  Hanrahan c o n t i n u e by d e s c r i b i n g Hanrahan's l u s t f u l o l d age, and, i n "The Tower," Y e a t s emphasizes Hanrahan's s e x u a l energy i n the a b s u r d i t y o f h i s p h y s i c a l decay: Caught by an o l d man's j u g g l e r i e s He stumbled, tumbled, fumbled t o and f r o And had but broken knees f o r h i r e And h o r r i b l e s l e n d o u r o f d e s i r e . Here, the a r t i s t as an o l d man i s r e c a l l i n g the o l d poet he imagined i n h i s y o u t h , and Y e a t s l o o k s t o h i s p a s t i m a g i n a t i v e c r e a t i o n f o r an ans-wer. He asks Hanrahan and the assembled phantoms about a l l men's r a n c o u r at o l d age: 84 D i d a l l o l d men and women, r i c h and poor, Who t r o d upon t h e s e r o c k s o r passed t h i s d oor, Whether i n p u b l i c or i n s e c r e t rage As I do now a g a i n s t o l d age. Then the h o s t i s d i s p e r s e d e x c e p t i n g Hanrahan, f o r Yeats needs a l l " h i s mighty memories." Hanrahan i s asked a second q u e s t i o n about what i n r e t r o s p e c t a man's i m a g i n a t i o n w i l l most emphasize, the "woman won o r woman l o s t . " I f h i s i m a g i n a t i o n d w e l l s upon the woman l o s t , Hanrahan must admit t h a t he tu r n e d a s i d e From a g r e a t l a b y r i n t h out o f p r i d e , Cowardice, some s i l l y o v e r - s u b t l e thought Or a n y t h i n g c a l l e d c o n s c i e n c e once. T h i s l a s t s t a n z a i n t h e second s e c t i o n i s perhaps the most d i f f i c u l t v e r s e t o c l a r i f y . The woman l o s t i s u n i v e r s a l l y acknowledged t o be Maud Gonne, and presumably she would be Mary L a v e l l e f o r Red Hanrahan. In a d d i t i o n t o the b i o g r a p h i c a l r e l e v a n c e , the two terms o f the e q u a t i o n 12 have been i n t e r p r e t e d as accomplishment and f r u s t r a t i o n . F u r t h e r than t h i s i t seems p r o b a b l y t h a t the a t t a i n e d woman sy m b o l i z e s a c t u a l e x p e r -i e n c e and f u l f i l m e n t , which s h o u l d s e r v e as the p o e t ' s m e d i t a t i v e s u b j e c t f o r i m a g i n a t i v e r e - c r e a t i o n . I t i s not t r a g i c t o l i v e w i t h i n the imag-i n a t i o n , t o be a b l i n d p o e t , p r o v i d i n g your i m a g i n a t i o n contemplates a c t u a l e x p e r i e n c e . I n the i m a g i n a t i o n o r the memory, the a c t u a l must b e-come a men t a l image, and Ye a t s i s c l e a r l y embodying mental images i n "The Tower," f o r a t the b e g i n n i n g o f the second s e c t i o n he proposes t o in v o k e "images and memories." The b l i n d poet must c r e a t e the woman won, the 85 e x p e r i e n t i a l r e a l m , i n h i s v e r s e , but p a r a d o x i c a l l y h i s v e r s e w i l l n ot m i r r o r h er bea u t y : the poet f a s h i o n s another woman, the c h a n g e l e s s a r t e -f a c t . Y e a t s does not i n t e n d some i m a g i n a r y e x p r e s s i o n d i v o r c e d from l i f e , and i f the i m a g i n a t i o n d w e l l s upon the woman l o s t , he would be se v e r e d from l i v i n g e x p e r i e n c e . Any e x p e r i e n c e o f the woman l o s t , p a r t i c u l a r l y a s e x u a l r e l a t i o n s h i p , must be imagined, so t h a t the poet would become " o v e r - s u b t l e , " m e d i t a t i n g upon a mental image t o c r e a t e a ment a l image. I t i s t r u e t h a t t h e woman l o s t e x i s t e d as s u r e l y as the woman won, but Y e a t s ' c r i t e r i o n i s e x p e r i e n c e , not e x i s t e n c e i n j u d g i n g what t h e poet s h o u l d most c o n s i d e r i n o l d age. H i s Muse i s no unwooed B e a t r i c e , , a n d thus Y e a t s s t r e s s e s Hanrahan's t a n g i b l e p h y s i c a l i n v o l v e -ment : For i t i s c e r t a i n t h a t you have Reckoned up ev e r y unforeknown, u n s e e i n g P l u n g e , l u r e d by a s o f t e n i n g e ye, Or by a touch or a s i g h , I n t o t h e l a b y r i n t h o f ano t h e r ' s b e i n g . The Muse i s s e l f - b e g o t t e n ; she i s ge n e r a t e d i m a g i n a t i v e l y from the po e t ' s own s e l f , which has i n t u r n been m e d i t a t i n g upon images and mem-o r i e s from the e x p e r i e n t i a l r e a l m . The Muse i n v e r s e becomes the a r t i -f i c e r ' s unchanging handiwork, y e t the poet d w e l l s upon images c a s t up by the i m a g i n a t i o n o r the memory w i t h o u t d e n y i n g the p h y s i c a l w o r l d o f p r o c e s s and change. Yeats has r e a f f i r m e d h i s e s s e n t i a l a l l e g i a n c e t o bo t h a r t and l i f e , and i n some r e s p e c t s the d u a l a t t r a c t i o n of the two realms echoes the p a t t e r n e s t a b l i s h e d i n "The Wanderings of O i s i n . " The l a s t s e c t i o n o f "The Tower" takes up the themes o f e x p e r i e n c e and i m a g i n a t i o n , l i f e and a r t , and v i g o r o u s l y c e l e b r a t e s b o t h . E x p e r -i e n c e , a c t i o n , and f u l f i l m e n t a r e embodied i n the f i g u r e of the f i s h e r -man c l i m b i n g t h e mountain streams "under b u r s t i n g dawn." Bloom r e g a r d s 13 t h i s "pre-dawn f i s h i n g e x p e d i t i o n i n a p p r o p r i a t e i f not s i l l y , " ' but the f i s h e r m a n i s a s t u r d y f i g u r e of the a c t i v e l i f e absorbed i n the r e a l m of n a t u r e . He i s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h r a d i a n t l i g h t b o t h i n the c o n c r e t e dawn-s e t t i n g and i n metaphor, f o r the f i s h e r m a n ' s p r i d e i s l i k e the "headlong l i g h t " o f the morning. H i g h mountain streams and t u r b u l e n t l i g h t a r e e f f e c t i v e l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h t h i s f i g u r e , and Y e a ts a g a i n r e v e a l s t h a t b r i l l i a n t s u r e n e s s i n the use of metaphor and a p p o s i t e s e t t i n g which c h a r a c t e r i z e s h i s work. The f i s h e r m e n engaged i n v i g o r o u s a c t i v i t y a l s o r e p r e s e n t the i n d o m i t a b l e I r i s h r y w i t h whom the aged p o e t ' a p p r o a c h i n g death a s s e r t s h i s e s s e n t i a l community: I l e a v e b o t h f a i t h and p r i d e To young u p s t a n d i n g men C l i m b i n g the m o u n t a i n - s i d e , That under b u r s t i n g dawn They may drop a . f l y ; B e i n g of t h a t m e t a l made T i l l i t was broken by T h i s s e d e n t a r y t r a d e . In h i s w i l l , he l e a v e s them t h a t C e l t i c p r i d e which i s f r e e ("Bound n e i t h e r to Cause n o r t o S t a t e ) , generous (". . . gave, though f r e e t o r e f u s e ) , and abundant (". . . t h a t of the f a b u l o u s horn") ; He a l s o de-c l a i m s h i s f a i t h which w i l l become t h e i r h e r i t a g e : And I d e c l a r e my f a i t h : I mock P l o t i n u s ' thought And c r y i n P l a t o ' s t e e t h , 87 Death and l i f e were not T i l l man made up the whole, Made l o c k , s t o c k - a n d b a r r e l Out o f h i s b i t t e r s o u l . He w i l l n o t "Choose P l a t o and P l o t i n u s f o r a f r i e n d , " though t h a t had seemed the s e n s i b l e s o l u t i o n i n the opening s e c t i o n . A b s t r a c t p h i l o s o p h y i s a f e e b l e c o n s o l a t i o n , and he c e r t a i n l y does not acc e p t P l a t o n i c doc-14 t r i n e as some c r i t i c s have s u g g e s t e d ; a l t h o u g h o l d age has i t s absurd r e s t r a i n t s , l i f e i s not a shadowy d e l u s i o n . Y e a t s c o n t i n u e s by c e l e -b r a t i n g t h e c r e a t i v i t y o f man as an a r t i f i c e r . Y e a t s does a s s e r t a t r a n s c e n d e n t a l i s t view, but one which emanates s o l e l y from man; t h e r e i s no m y s t i c a l emanation from a d i v i n e c r e a t o r , no b r e a t h o f d i v i n e i n s p i r -a t i o n . Y e a t s d e c l a r e s , t h a t he has now p r e p a r e d h i s peace w i t h those d i s s a t i s f y i n g "memories o f l o v e " ; c e r t a i n l y t h a t l o n g l i n e o f G a e l i c p o e t s from O i s i n t o the p r e s e n t no l o n g e r b e l o n g t o the G a e l i c Muse, f o r she b e l o n g s t o them. The aged Y e a t s , h a v i n g made h i s w i l l and h i s peace, i s f r e e t o make h i s s p i r i t u a l e x i s t e n c e , which w i l l be " s e l f -b e g o t t e n " : "Now s h a l l I make my s o u l . " F i n a l l y , a t t e n t i o n f o c u s e s upon the poet i s o l a t e d i n the g a t h e r i n g d a r k n e s s , which r e c a l l s the t w i l i g h t musings o f the b e g i n n i n g . In the s t i l l e d , m e d i t a t i v e c l o s e , Y e a ts broods upon age, decay and d e a t h ; however, t h e s e l i m i t a t i o n s may be tr a n s c e n d e d because man can make them "Out of h i s b i t t e r s o u l . " Y e a t s ' l o n g poems i n the l a t e r p e r i o d a r e a s u b j e c t f o r study e n t i r e l y . i n t h e m s e l v e s . T h e i r s t r u c t u r e i s based upon a complex i n t e r -a c t i o n of image and d i s c o u r s e which i s n o t r e d u c i b l e t o neat c r i t i c a l c a t e g o r i e s . In 1963, Sarah Youngblood commented t h a t d e s p i t e the acknowledged g r e a t n e s s of t h e s e poems, they remained l a r g e l y unexamined by c r i t i c i s m , a t t r i b u t i n g t h i s n e g l e c t to the p e c u l i a r d i f f i c u l t y of Y e a t s ' use of the i m a g i s t i c and d i s c u r s i v e modes: The d i s c u r s i v e mode i n p o e t r y depends upon the s t r u c t u r a l p r i n -c i p l e o f s y n t a x , a d e p l o y i n g of thought i n l o g i c a l , r a t i o n a l s t r u c -t u r e s o f s t a t e m e n t ; the i m a g i s t i c mode depends upon the s t r u c t u r a l p r i n c i p l e of the image, which r e p l a c e s l o g i c a l s y n t a x w i t h what H a r t Crane c a l l e d the " l o g i c of metaphor." . . . When we t u r n t o Y e a t s ' l o n g poems, the s p e c i a l problem posed by them i s t h a t each one by v i r t u e o f b e i n g made up of poems, i n t e r r e l a t e d u n i t s i n a s e r i e s , can a l t e r n a t e t h e s e two d i s s i m i l a r modes, l e t t i n g a d i r e c t s ucceed an o b l i q u e one i n the s e r i e s . 1 4 She p o i n t s out t h a t f r e q u e n t l y v e r s e s which masquerade as d i s c u r s i v e c l a r i f i c a t i o n , i n f a c t communicate through imagery r a t h e r th an s y n t a x . I t i s t h i s i n t e n s i v e l y - w r o u g h t sequence of v e r s e s working i n the two media which makes "The Tower" and comparable poems d i f f i c u l t t o a n a l y z e w i t h any c o n f i d e n c e about d e f i n i n g t h e f i n a l l o g i c a l meaning. A l t h o u g h the r a t i o n a l p r o c e s s i s e v i d e n t , i t i s opened out by the use o f imagery and l e g e n d a r y a l l u s i o n t o encompass b r e a d t h s of s i g n i f i c a n c e . T h i s s y n o p s i s i s o n l y a t e n t a t i v e a p p r o x i m a t i o n t o the meaning of "The Tower," and y e t key Y e a t s i a n i s s u e s a r e d i s c u s s e d and a p p a r e n t l y r e s o l v e d . E a r l i e r , t h o s e Y e a t s i a n a n t i n o m i e s d i d not seem to l e a d t o t h a t c u r r e n t l y u n p o p u l a r phenomenon, a s o l u t i o n , b u t , d e s p i t e the d i s s o n a n c e of t r a g i -comedy and the absurd image, Y e a t s ' l a t e r poems do a r t i c u l a t e a harmon-i o u s r e s o l u t i o n t o such d i c h o t o m i e s as a r t and l i f e o r body and soul."'""' "Among S c h o o l C h i l d r e n " i s a poem which c e n t r e s upon t h i s r e s o l u t i o n and which s h a r e s a s i m i l a r s t r u c t u r e of image and d i s c o u r s e and a s i m i l a r p a t t e r n i n g of themes t o "The Tower." 89 "Among S c h o o l C h i l d r e n " compares w i t h "The Tower" i n t h a t a g a i n the aged poet m e d i t a t e s upon Ledaean bea u t y and s e l f - b o r n images, and he r e l a t e s t h e s e t o the works of p h i l o s o p h y which s h o u l d a f f o r d s o l a c e i n o l d age. C h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y , Y e a ts b e g i n s w i t h a c o n c r e t e p h y s i c a l s i t -u a t i o n : he i s i n s p e c t i n g a s c h o o l where the c h i l d r e n s t a r e i n amazement at t h i s aged p u b l i c f i g u r e . A g a i n , the mood i s t r a g i - c o m i c : age i s a t r a g i c i n e v i t a b i l i t y which l a t e r i n the poem breaks the mother's h e a r t by d e s t r o y i n g h e r more g r a n d i o s e image o f h e r son's d e s t i n y ; y e t t h e r e i s comedy i n Y e a t s ' d e s c r i p t i o n o f h i m s e l f as an a l i e n p r o d i g y s c r u t i n -i z e d by s e v e r a l p a i r s o f e y e s . The a c t u a l s i t u a t i o n prompts a sequence of r e l a t e d mental images. The s c h o o l c h i l d r e n , the common " p a d d l e r s " i n a r e a l m of p r o c e s s , b r i n g t o mind a Ledaean daughter of the swan, who i s presumably the f l a w l e s s H e l e n i n the r e a l m o f a r t . N a t u r e ' s p a d d l e r s cannot compare w i t h the b e a u t y o f the d i v i n e l y - p r o c r e a t e d swan's c h i l d r e n . Y e a t s e n v i s a g e s t h a t p r o c r e a t i o n as the o r i g i n o f a n t i n o m i e s i n "Leda and the Swan." Co n c e i v e d i n the c o n j u n c t i o n of l o v e and war, an amorous a t t a c k , H e l e n e f f e c t s t h e s e c o n t r a r i e s i n the h i s t o r i c a l g y r e , b r i n g i n g b o t h l o v e and d e s t r u c t i o n . Love and war, a r t and l i f e , c r e a t i o n and d e s t r u c t i o n a r e p i v o t a l o p p o s i t e s i n The Tower and ar e f r e q u e n t l y a s s o c -i a t e d w i t h t h e swan image, as f o r example i n " N i n e t e e n Hundred and N i n e t e e n . " Y e a t s ' t r e a t m e n t of t h e themes of l o v e and war, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n r e l a t i o n t o H e l e n , a g a i n a c c o r d s w i t h h i s Homeric r o l e . Whereas many poems i n The Tower d e s c r i b e the c a t a c l y s m i c war which i s e n g u l f i n g t h e p r e s e n t h i s t o r i c a l g y r e ; t h e t i t l e poem and "Among S c h o o l C h i l d r e n " con-c e n t r a t e more upon the c o n v e r s e antinomy of l o v e , as embodied i n H e l e n , 90 Mary Hynes or Maud Gonne. Most c r i t i c s agree t h a t H e l e n i s a l i g n e d w i t h Maud Gonne i n "Among S c h o o l , C h i l d r e n . " Yeats r e c a l l s some t r i v i a l c h i l d i s h event she once r e l a t e d , a n d the r e s u l t i n g y o u t h f u l sympathy e s t a b l i s h e d between them. He t h i n k s o f h e r y o u t h i n a s s o c i a t i o n w i t h the s c h o o l c h i l d r e n : "For even daughters of the swan can s h a r e /Something of e v e r y p a d d l e r ' s h e r i t a g e . " A n t i c i p a t i n g t h e r e c o n c i l i a t i o n o f a r t and l i f e i n the f i n a l s t a n z a , i l l u s i o n and r e a l i t y merge, f o r the mental image i s f u s e d w i t h the l i v i n g c h i l d b e f o r e him: "And thereupon my h e a r t i s d r i v e n w i l d : /She s t a n d s b e f o r e me as a l i v i n g c h i l d . " D e s p i t e the p h y s i c a l decay of age, t h e poet imagines a Ledaean beauty so v i v i d l y t h a t the m e n t a l and a c t u a l become i n t e g r a t e d i n t o a r e a l i t y . However, the t r a n s c e n d e n t u n i o n i s momentary, and the poet'must r e t u r n t o the con-c r e t e s i t u a t i o n i n the schoolroom. A f t e r .remembering Maud's y o u t h , he touches b r i e f l y upon h i s own: "And I though never of Ledaean k i n d /Had p r e t t y plumage o n c e — e n o u g h of t h a t . " He a b r u p t l y b r e a k s o f f t h i s r e m i n i s c e n c e because he must a c c e p t the a c t u a l i t y o f the t r a g i - c o m i c scene, where t h e . c e l e b r i t y i n p e r c e p t i b l e d e c l i n e and w i t h f i x e d s m i l e parades among the a s t o n i s h e d c h i l d r e n : " B e t t e r t o s m i l e on a l l t h a t s m i l e , and show /There i s a c o m f o r t a b l e k i n d o f o l d s c a r e c r o w . " The s c a r e c r o w s h a r e s the absurd pathos of the image f o r o l d age i n "The Tower," the can t i e d t o a dog's t a i l . I t s v i s u a l a s p e c t i s b o t h r i d i c u -l o u s . and p a t h e t i c , and s u g g e s t s t h a t h i s appearance i s comprised of an assortment of c l o t h e s r a t h e r than a l i v i n g body. The scarecrow's f u n c -t i o n i s a l s o i m p o r t a n t because the young a r e s y m b o l i z e d as b i r d s , whether p a d d l e r s o r swans o r Y e a t s ' own " p r e t t y plumage." In g r i m o l d 91 age, he can o n l y f r i g h t e n away b i r d s : the p a d d l e r s are amazed by t h i s awesome f i g u r e , w h i l s t the swan's c h i l d , h i s e a r l y Ledaean Muse, i s l o s t t o him. S t a n z a f i v e d i s c u s s e s i n g e n e r a l terms the p o e t ' s p e r s o n a l quandary, and Y e a t s r e f e r s t o the e n t i r e l i f e - c y c l e , which was r e p r e s e n t e d i n the c l a s s r o o m by the c h i l d r e n and t h e i r v i s i t o r , the "grey eminence." A f t e r t r e a t i n g the p o e t i c image, Yeats now c o n s i d e r s the mother's image-making tendency. The mother's image i s b e l i e d by the d e t e r m i n i s t i c p r o -c e s s e s of n a t u r e , s i n c e the s p l e n d i d dreams of h e r c h i l d ' s f u t u r e do not t ake account of the d i r e c e r t a i n t y o f age: What y o u t h f u l mother, a shape upon h e r l a p Honey of g e n e r a t i o n had b e t r a y e d , And t h a t must s l e e p , s h r i e k , s t r u g g l e to escape As r e c o l l e c t i o n o r the d rug d e c i d e , Would t h i n k h e r son, d i d she but see t h a t shape With s i x t y o r more w i n t e r s on i t s head, A compensation f o r the pang of h i s b i r t h , Or the u n c e r t a i n t y of h i s s e t t i n g f o r t h ? B i r t h c o n c e i v e d as a b e t r a y a l i s of c o u r s e a P l a t o n i c d o c t r i n e and, i n the f o l l o w i n g s t a n z a , Y e a t s q u e r i e s P l a t o ' s view and t h a t of o t h e r Greek p h i l o s o p h e r s . S i n c e b i r t h b e t r a y s man i n t o the d e t e r m i n i s t i c c y c l e , n a t u r e must be c o n s i d e r e d an i l l u s i o n , a "spume," and the r e a l i t y , a c h a n g e l e s s a b s o l u t e . S o l i d e r A r i s t o t l e attempted t o impose p h i l o s o p h i c a l l e a r n i n g through g r o s s l y p h y s i c a l means upon the s c h o o l c h i l d , A l e x a n d e r . P ythagoras r e j e c t e d p h y s i c a l e x i s t e n c e , b e l i e v i n g h i m s e l f to be a god 16 and thence " g o l d e n - t h i g h e d . " In t h a t the p h i l o s o p h e r s deny the c l a i m s of p h y s i c a l r e a l i t y , r e g a r d i n g t h e body as an i l l u s i o n , they compare w i t h the aged poet who has been f o r c e d by the n a t u r a l p r o c e s s e s they 92 i g n o r e to d i s c o u n t the f l e s h . P h y s i c a l p r o c e s s and the o l d age i t e x a c t s become i n s i g n i f i c a n t i f e x i s t e n c e i s r e g a r d e d as a shadowy d e l u -s i o n ; P l a t o n i c d o c t r i n e appears to p r o v i d e the l o g i c a l answer to the p e r p l e x i t i e s i n d u c e d by o l d age. However, the l a s t l i n e of the s t a n z a makes c l e a r t h a t Y e a t s and t h e p h i l o s o p h e r s a r e a l l s c a r e c r o w s , and t h e i r v e n e r a b l e p o s i t i o n and knowledge s e r v e to i n t i m i d a t e c h i l d r e n as s u r e l y as A r i s t o t l e ' s f l o g g i n g : "Old c l o t h e s upon o l d s t i c k s t o s c a r e a b i r d . " Y e a t s r e t u r n s t o t h e e d u c a t o r s i n t h a t p a r t i c u l a r s i t u a t i o n — t h e nuns; they s u b s c r i b e to m e n t a l images as s u r e l y as mothers o r p h i l o s o p h e r s : Both nuns and mothers w o r s h i p images, But t h o s e t h e c a n d l e s l i g h t a r e not as those That animate a mother's r e v e r i e s , But keep a marble or a bronze r e p o s e . Y e a t s c o r r e l a t e s the images i n v e n t e d by the l o v e r - p o e t , the nun and the mother: "0 P r e s e n c e s /That p a s s i o n , p i e t y or a f f e c t i o n knows." A l t h o u g h they imagine e s s e n t i a l l y d i f f e r e n t k i n d s of a r t i f i c e , each k i n d m a n i f e s t s the p a r a d o x i c a l q u a l i t y o f s y m b o l i z i n g " a l l h e a v e n l y g l o r y , " w h i l s t b r e a k i n g h e a r t s . Images embody t h a t c o v e t e d p e r f e c t i o n , which can never be l o c a t e d i n a w o r l d o f f l u x . Thus, images b r e a k h e a r t s because t h e y e x c e l the p h y s i c a l e x p e r i e n c e of t h e i r c r e a t o r ; s i m i l a r l y , H e l e n b e t r a y s a l l l i v i n g h e a r t s i n "The T o w e r i " The images are p e r s o n i f i e d as s c o r n -f u l f o r they seem to mock the p o v e r t y of the human s i t u a t i o n , which t h e i r c r e a t o r can t r a n s c e n d o n l y through them: "0 s e l f - b o r n mockers of man's e n t e r p r i s e . " However, as i n "The Tower," the p o e m , f i n a l l y r e s o l v e s the d i c h o t o m i e s i t a s s e r t s . In the l a s t s t a n z a , Y e a t s r e j o i c e s i n the 93 consonance o f the h e a r t b r e a k i n g a n t i n o m i e s . The labour; of a r t i s t and mother can be jo y o u s i f the c l a i m s o f body and s o u l a r e e q u a l l y r e c o g -n i z e d : "Labour i s b l o s s o m i n g o r d a n c i n g where /The body i s n o t b r u i s e d to p l e a s u r e s o u l . " Y e a t s uses two f i n e images t o d i s c o u n t the a r t i -f i c i a l d i c h o t o m i e s c h e r i s h e d by p h i l o s o p h e r s : l e a f , blossom and b o l e a r e a l l p a r t of the l u x u r i a n t c h e s t n u t and the dancer i s i n e x t r i c a b l e from the dance. The dancer i s i n t e g r a t e d i n t o the movement of the dance, as the i n d i v i d u a l poet i s absorbed i n t o the d e s i g n o f h i s poem d u r i n g the p r o c e s s of i t s c r e a t i o n . - Body and s o u l , l i f e and a r t , a r t i s t and a r t i -f i c e , may be . u n i f i e d ; a l t h o u g h p e r h a p s , as e a r l i e r i n the poem, the s y n t h e s i s may o n l y be momentary f o r the dancer i s o n l y the dance when he i s a c t u a l l y d a n c i n g . "Among S c h o o l C h i l d r e n " and the t i t l e poem a r e the most c e l e b r a -t o r y and a f f i r m a t i v e works i n The Tower. The volume i s more u s u a l l y known f o r i t s b i t t e r n e s s , which, a c c o r d i n g t o Y e a t s , p r o v i d e s i t s d i s -t i n c t i v e e m o t i o n . ^ A s s u r e d l y , though l i f e and a r t a r e "commended" i n th e s e two poems, the remainder p r e s e n t l i f e as a savage s p e c t a c l e ; the enchantment of a r t i s c o n t r a s t e d w i t h the disenchantment o f the a c t u a l s u r r o u n d i n g scene. I t i s well-known t h a t Yeats d i s c u s s e s h e r e the a t r o c i t i e s committed by the A u x i l i a r i e s and the B l a c k and Tans i n I r e l a n d , s e e i n g them as tokens or pr e s a g e s of the impending d e s t r u c t i o n of t h a t h i s t o r i c a l g y r e . G r o t e s q u e r i e s , images of d e s t r u c t i o n abound and a r e o f t e n drawn from w i t c h c r a f t o r demonism. In s e c t i o n VI o f "Ni n e t e e n Hundred and N i n e t e e n , " the Sidhe l i n k e d w i t h the Herodiade r e -t u r n once a g a i n t o r i d e the confuse d tumult o f the " l a b y r i n t h of the wind." However, they do not h e r a l d a c a t a c l y s m which b r i n g s f u l f i l m e n t o r i l l u m i n a t i o n ; i t i s not the demise o f u n s a t i s f y i n g l i f e i n t o s a t i s -f y i n g v i s i o n . The c a t a c l y s m i s an a l l - o b l i t e r a t i n g h o r r o r , b e s t e x p r e s s e d by t h a t loathsome t h i n g f o r Y e a t s — t h e mob. The c o n c l u s i o n o f " M e d i t a t i o n s i n Time of C i v i l War" g i v e s a s t a r k d e s c r i p t i o n of a mob of t r o o p e r s , who a r e m o t i v a t e d by an i n s a n e wrath which t o r t u r e s them and which they c o n t i n u a l l y seek: The r a g e - d r i v e n , rage-tormented, and rage-hungry t r o o p , T r o o p e r b e l a b o u r i n g t r o o p e r , b i t i n g a t arm o r a t f a c e , P l unges towards n o t h i n g , arms and f i n g e r s s p r e a d i n g wide F o r the embrace of n o t h i n g . In t h e i r d e s p e r a t e s t r u g g l e f o r "the embrace of n o t h i n g , " they a r e l i f e -d e s t r o y e r s and image-breakers. As I mentioned p r e v i o u s l y i n my a n a l y s i s of " N i n e t e e n Hundred and N i n e t e e n , " even seemingly immortal a r t i s s h o r t - l i v e d : He who can r e a d the s i g n s n o r s i n k unmanned I n t o the h a l f - d e c e i t o f some i n t o x i c a n t From s h a l l o w w i t s ; who knows no work can s t a n d , Whether h e a l t h , w e a l t h o r peace of mind were spent On master-work of i n t e l l e c t or hand, No honour l e a v e i t s mighty monument, Has but one comfort l e f t : a l l triumph would But b r e a k upon h i s g h o s t l y s o l i t u d e . Much of The Tower r e v o l v e s upon the a n t i t h e s i s of the image-makers and the image-breakers. I n s o l i t a r y " s e l f - d e l i g h t , " the a r t i f i c e r f a s h i o n s ceremonious o r d e r which i s t h r e a t e n e d by the m u l t i t u d i n o u s agents of d e s t r u c t i o n . S t r a n g e l y , Y e ats i s a f f i r m a t i v e : the mob cannot d e s t r o y a r t i s t i c s o l i t u d e , but o n l y t h e i n f e r i o r g o a l of triumph. 95 I t i s perhaps a r b i t r a r y t o s e v e r the development of th e Y e a t s i a n Muse at The Tower, but I f e e l t h a t t h e r e i s no f u r t h e r s i g n i f i c a n t development of th e f i g u r e , u n l e s s C r a z y Jane c o u l d be c o n s i d e r e d a r a d i c a l l y u n c o n v e n t i o n a l Muse. T h i s may be so but then Crazy Jane cannot be r e a d i l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the o r i g i n a l terms of my t h e s i s , the White Goddess as Muse. Of c o u r s e , Y e a t s does mention O i s i n and'the y o u t h f u l quest a g a i n ; "The Wanderings of O i s i n " seems a s e m i n a l poem and, w i t h h i s f i t t i n g sense of due p r i o r i t i e s , Y e a t s f i n a l l y p l a c e d i t a t t h e b e g i n n i n g o f h i s c o l l e c t e d works. O i s i n i s the p r o g e n i t o r of a p r i n c e l y d y n a s t y of poet f i g u r e s , and h i s c o n f l i c t s appear to f o r e -shadow those of the l a t e r poet personae i n v a r y i n g d e g r e e s . Whether the poet i s i n s p i r e d by, h i s Muse to quest i n t o the S i d h e ' s r e a l m o r whether he f a s h i o n s h i s own quest to t h e s e l f - b e g o t t e n Byzantium, Yeats c o n t i n u e s t o r e - e v a l u a t e "the p r o f i t and the l o s s " i n v o l v e d upon the j o u r n e y . A t the m e a n i n g f u l d e s t i n a t i o n o f "The Tower" and "Among S c h o o l C h i l d r e n , " the a r t i f i c e r can r e c o n c i l e a n t i n o m i e s i n t o h i s d e s i g n ; but y e a r s l a t e r he has quested.no f u r t h e r , and the o n l y i m p o r t a n t development i s perhaps t h a t t h e r e i s none. In "The C i r c u s A n i m a l s ' D e s e r t i o n , " Y e a t s sees t h e s e q u e s t o r s as tamed and p r a c t i s e d a n i m a l s , c i r c u s a n i m a l s , l a c k i n g t h a t e s s e n t i a l Y e a t s i a n " w i l d n e s s . " O i s i n seems a tame anim a l whose m i s t r e s s l e a d s him i g n o m i n i p u s l y by the nose. The performance remains, but the b i t t e r n e s s and l o n g i n g have passed away; y e t a l l a r t i s a d e c e p t i o n and perhaps the p o e t ' s s e l f - d e c e p t i o n has been h i s a r t . There may never have been a n y t h i n g more than t h e mask and "Those s t i l t e d boys, t h a t b u r n i s h e d c h a r i o t , / L i o n and woman and the L o r d knows what." Perhaps, 96 i n o l d age, he s h o u l d s e t out anew t o s a t i s f y the needs of the man and not of the p o e t : What can I b u t enumerate o l d themes? F i r s t t h a t s e a - r i d e r O i s i n l e d by the nose Through t h r e e enchanted i s l a n d s , a l l e g o r i c a l dreams, V a i n g a i e t y , v a i n b a t t l e , v a i n r e p o s e , Themes of the e m b i t t e r e d h e a r t , or so i t seems, That might adorn o l d songs o r c o u r t l y shows; But what c a r e d I t h a t s e t him on t o r i d e , I , s t a r v e d . f o r t h e bosom o f h i s f a e r y b r i d e ? 97 NOTES ''"See R i c h a r d E l l m a n n , Y e a t s : The Man and the Masks (1948; r p t . New York: D u t t o n , n . d . ) , p. 220. 2 A. Norman J e f f a r e s , A Commentary on the C o l l e c t e d Poems of W. 15. Y e a t s ( S t a n f o r d : S t a n f o r d U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1968), p. 124. 3 Frank L e n t r i c c h i a , The G a i e t y of Language: An E s s a y on the  R a d i c a l P o e t i c s of W. B. Y e a t s and W a l l a c e Stevens ( B e r k e l e y : U n i v e r s i t y of C a l i f o r n i a P r e s s , 1968), pp. 69-70. 4 L e n t r i c c h i a , p. 60. ^ E l l m a n n , p. 203. p. 191. 6 H a r o l d Bloom, Y e a t s (New York: O x f o r d U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1970), ^Bloom, p. 191. g W. B. Y e a t s , M y t h o l o g i e s (1959; r p t . London: M a c m i l l a n , 1970), pp. 25-26. 9 See Y e a t s ' comment i n "Dust h a t h c l o s e d Helen's Eye," M y t h o l - o g i e s : " I asked a man I met one day, when I was l o o k i n g f o r a p o o l na mna Sidhe where woman of F a e r i e have been_seen, how R a f t e r y c o u l d have admired Mary Hynes so much i f he had been a l t o g e t h e r b l i n d . He s a i d , 'I t h i n k R a f t e r y was a l t o g e t h e r b l i n d , b u t those t h a t a r e b l i n d have a way of s e e i n g t h i n g s , and have the power t o know more, and f e e l more, and t o do more, and to guess more than those t h a t have t h e i r s i g h t , and a c e r t a i n wisdom i s g i v e n . t o them.'" (pp. 28-29). " ^ M y t h o l o g i e s , pp. 22-30. 1 : L M i c h a e l Y e a t s , "W. B. Y e a t s and I r i s h F o l k Song," Southern  F o l k l o r e Q u a r t e r l y 31 (1966), p. 155. 12 Bloom, p. 350. 13 Bloom, p. 351. 14 A r r a M. Garab, Beyond Byzantium: The L a s t Phase i n Y e a t s ' s  C a r e e r ( I l l i n o i s : I l l i n o i s U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1968), p. 18. 14a Sarah Youngblobd,."The S t r u c t u r e o f Y e a t s ' s Long Poems," C r i t i c i s m 5 (1963), p. 323. 98 ^~*For a similar view, see M. I. Seidell, Trie Poet as a Mythmaker  1865-1939 (Michigan State University Press, 1962), p. 269 et passim. 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F a b l e s of I d e n t i t y : S t u d i e s i n P o e t i c Mythology. New York: H a r c o u r t , Brace and World, 1963. Garab, A r r a M. Beyond Byzantium: The L a s t Phase of Y e a t s ' s C a r e e r . DeKalb: N o r t h e r n I l l i n o i s U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1969. Graves, R o b e r t . The White Goddess. London: Faber and Faber (1948) n.d. ' Greek Myths. M i d d l e s e x : Penguin, 1957. The Crowning P r i v i l e g e : The C l a r k L e c t u r e s 1954-1955. London: C a s s e l , 1955. Gregory, Augusta. C u c h u l a i n of Muirthemne. London: Murray, 1902. . Gods and F i g h t i n g Men. London: Murray, 1904. Grossman, A l l e n R. P o e t i c Knowledge i n the E a r l y Y e a t s : A Study o f "The  Wind among the Reeds." U n i v e r s i t y o f V i r g i n i a P r e s s , 1969. H a l l , James, and M a r t i n Steinmann, eds. The Permanence of Y e a t s . New York: C o l l i e r Books, 1961. Henn, T. R. The L o n e l y Tower. London: Methuen, 1950. Hoffman, D a n i e l . Barbarous Knowledge: Myth i n the Poetry, of Y e a t s , Graves, and M u i r . London: O x f o r d U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s (1967) 1970. 101 Hone, Jo s e p h . W. B. Yeats 1865-1939. London: M a c m i l l a n (1962) 1965. Hough, Graham. The L a s t Romantics. London: Methuen, 1961. J e f f a r e s , A. Norman. W. B_. Y e a t s : Man and P o e t . London: Ro u t l e d g e (1949) 1962. . A Commentary on the C o l l e c t e d 'Poem's of W. B_. Y e a t s . S t a n f o r d : S t a n f o r d U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1968. Jung, C. G. Modern Man i n Search of a S o u l , t r a n s . W. S. D e l l and C. F. Baynes. New York: Harcourt,: B r a c e , and World, 1933. ' Psyche and Symbol, ed. V i o l e t S. de L a s z l o . New York: Doubleday Anchor, 1958. K e l l e h e r , John V. " Y e a t s ' s Use of I r i s h M a t e r i a l s , " T r i - Q u a r t e r l y , No. 4 (1965), 115-25. Kermode, F r a n k . Romantic Image. 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B u l l e n , 1913. . The V a r i o r u m E d i t i o n o f the Poems of W. B_. Y e a t s , eds. P e t e r A l l t and R u s s e l l K. A l s p a c h . New York: M a c m i l l a n , 1957. . A V i s i o n . New York: M a c m i l l a n (1956) 1961. Youngblood, Sarah.. "The S t r u c t u r e o f Y e a t s ' s Long Poems," C r i t i c i s m 5 (1963), 323-33. Z w e r d l i n g , A l e x . Y e a t s and t h e H e r o i c I d e a l . New York: U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1965. 

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