I Will Arise and Go -- A Poem by Anne Casey

I will arise and go
(After William Butler Yeats)

My people are a migrant clan
Prospering not by hook or crook or craft
But by diligent labour and an easy charm
Flung from one small corner
Across every wind-tossed sea
Mountaintop to valley floor
To lay a thousand roadways
Or stand on pavements grey
To explore wild tropical outposts
Hold fast to frozen plains

My people are an itinerant tribe
A heathen spirit tamed
Not by bonds or shackles or shekels
But by music and by elegant words
Though alongside our wanderlust
Cohabits a want in us—
That surges in each nomad breast—
To journey back again, top the last crest
To that first wide view
Across a childhood shore

To feel the heart leap
Like a salmon returned to familial waters
If only—in our dreams

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Tags: Literature, Poetry

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