Verse > Anthologies > Louis Untermeyer, ed. > Modern British Poetry
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Louis Untermeyer, ed. (1885–1977). Modern British Poetry.  1920.
 
William Butler Yeats. 1865–
 
46. The Cap and Bells
 
A QUEEN was beloved by a jester, 
  And once when the owls grew still 
He made his soul go upward 
  And stand on her window sill. 
  
In a long and straight blue garment,         5
  It talked before morn was white, 
And it had grown wise by thinking 
  Of a footfall hushed and light. 
  
But the young queen would not listen; 
  She rose in her pale nightgown,  10
She drew in the brightening casement 
  And pushed the brass bolt down. 
  
He bade his heart go to her, 
  When the bats cried out no more, 
In a red and quivering garment  15
  It sang to her through the door. 
  
The tongue of it sweet with dreaming 
  Of a flutter of flower-like hair, 
But she took up her fan from the table 
  And waved it off on the air.  20
  
'I've cap and bells,' he pondered, 
  'I will send them to her and die.' 
And as soon as the morn had whitened 
  He left them where she went by. 
  
She laid them upon her bosom,  25
  Under a cloud of her hair, 
And her red lips sang them a love song. 
  The stars grew out of the air. 
  
She opened her door and her window, 
  And the heart and the soul came through,  30
To her right hand came the red one, 
  To her left hand came the blue. 
  
They set up a noise like crickets, 
  A chattering wise and sweet, 
And her hair was a folded flower,  35
  And the quiet of love her feet. 
 
 
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