The Well And The Tree

A poem by William Butler Yeats

‘The man that I praise,’
Cries out the empty well,
‘Lives all his days
Where a hand on the bell
Can call the milch-cows
To the comfortable door of his house.
Who but an idiot would praise
Dry stones in a well?’

‘The Man that I praise,’
Cries out the leafless tree,
‘Has married and stays
By an old hearth, and he
On naught has set store
But children and dogs on the floor.
Who but an idiot would praise
A withered tree?’

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