Heart Images – Yeats

I found another great poem this morning, again by Yeats. He’s quickly becoming one of my favorites. 


The poem is titled The Lover mourns for the Loss of Love


Pale brows, still hands and dim hair,

I had a beautiful friend

And dreamed that the old despair

Would end in love in the end:

She looked in my heart one day

And saw your image was there;

She has gone weeping away.


I love the image Yeats paints of his beautiful friend – pale brows and dim hair don’t usually get tagged as beautiful.  But he does so here.  I wonder why.


But more importantly,  this poem got me thinking about what is in my heart – about who is in my heart.  If someone looked in my heart whose face would they see?  

It sounds cheesy, but this poem makes me think of Jesus – how he longs to find himself in our hearts.  How it must hurt him when he doesn’t find his image there.  


I think Jesus is a lover who mourns the loss of love too. 


The one difference, though, is that He doesn’t go weeping away.  He stays there.  Always hoping.  Always wooing.  Always yearning to be believed and trusted and accepted and written on our hearts. 


Even now, says the Lord, return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; rend your hearts, not your clothes. Return to the Lord, your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relents from punishing.  Joel 2:12-13 (Emphasis added)


God Saw the Priest

Read a great poem this morning – ‘The Ballad of Father Gillian’ by Yeats.  I love the language in it.


It’s a poem about an old Irish Priest who is tired because much of his flock is dying from famine.  He is weary from all the death.  The priest is called in the wee hours to go to the bedside of a dying man, but falls asleep before he goes.  He later wakes up and rushes to the house, only to find the man had already died.  But instead of being discouraged or angry at himself for this, he takes it as a blessing from God.  God knew he couldn’t handle any more death.  God saw the priest…


This is the way the poem ends…


‘He Who hath made the night of stars

For souls who tire and bleed,

Sent one of His great angels down

To help me in my need.


‘He Who is wrapped in purple robes,

With planets in His care,

Had pity on the least of things,

Asleep upon a chair.’