William Butler Yeats

The Pilgrim

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I FASTED for some forty days on bread and buttermilk,
For passing round the bottle with girls in rags or silk,
In country shawl or Paris cloak, had put my wits astray,
And what's the good of women, for all that they can say
Is fol de rol de rolly O.

Round Lough Derg's holy island I went upon the
stones,
I prayed at all the Stations upon my matrow-bones,
And there I found an old man, and though, I prayed all
day
And that old man beside me, nothing would he say
But fol de rol de rolly O.

All know that all the dead in the world about that
place are stuck,
And that should mother seek her son she'd have but
little luck
Because the fires of purgatory have ate their shapes
away;
I swear to God I questioned them, and all they had to
say
Was fol de rol de rolly O.
A great black ragged bird appeared when I was in the
boat;
Some twenty feet from tip to tip had it stretched
rightly out,
With flopping and with flapping it made a great dis-
play,
But I never stopped to question, what could the boat-
man say
But fol de rol de rolly O.
Now I am in the public-house and lean upon the wall,
So come in rags or come in silk, in cloak or country
shawl,
And come with learned lovers or with what men you
may,
For I can put the whole lot down, and all I have to say
Is fol de rol de rolly O.

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William Butler Yeats