wander where they will

"Swans at the Shore" by Bruno Liljefors
“Swans at the Shore” by Bruno Liljefors

I have looked upon those brilliant creatures,
And now my heart is sore.
All’s changed since I, hearing at twilight,
The first time on this shore,
The bell-beat of their wings above my head,
Trod with a lighter tread.

Unwearied still, lover by lover,
They paddle in the cold
Companionable streams or climb the air;
Their hearts have not grown old;
 Passion or conquest, wander where they will,
Attend upon them still.

~ William Butler Yeats
(The Wild Swans at Coole)

8 thoughts on “wander where they will”

  1. Swans are beautiful and brilliant white. We don’t have many here, but they lived on the lake where my parent’s had a cottage. They are also fierce and territorial and kind of intimidating. They stir the heart in many ways, don’t they, Barbara?

    1. They do stir the heart, Kathy! One cherished memory I have is of seeing a mother swan swimming along with a couple of babies sitting on her back, enjoying their ride. They are territorial, like most wildlife, we must remember they are wild and respect their boundaries…

    1. Oh yes, majestic and magical! Swans usually mate for life and we have a pair that live in the salt marsh near our beach. They are a lovely gift…

  2. Now Kathy and Laurie have got me thinking…I don’t believe I have ever seen an actual swan “in the flesh”! They always look so graceful and beautiful.

    1. I hope someday you get to see a swan “in the flesh,” Joanne! There are many animals and colorful birds on your continent that I haven’t seen, either. Each continent has its own unique gifts for us to enjoy.

    1. You’re welcome, Diane, and thank you! In winter we often see swans ‘paddling in the cold’ in the salt pond near our beach, and wonder about their ability to keep warm, especially when the wind is howling…

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