by W.B. Yeats
'Tis All Souls' Night and the great Christ Church bell,
  And many a lesser bell, sound through the room,
  For it is now midnight;
  And two long glasses brimmed with muscatel
  Bubble upon the table. A ghost may come,
  For it is a ghost's right,
  His element is so fine
  Being sharpened by his death,
  To drink from the wine-breath
  While our gross palates drink from the whole wine.

  I need some mind that, if the cannon sound
  From every quarter of the world, can stay
  Wound in mind's pondering,
  As mummies in the mummy-cloth are wound;
  Because I have a marvellous thing to say,
  A certain marvellous thing
  None but the living mock,
  Though not for sober ear;
  It may be all that hear
  Should laugh and weep an hour upon the clock.

  H--'s the first I call. He loved strange thought
  And knew that sweet extremity of pride
  That's called platonic love,
  And that to such a pitch of passion wrought
  Nothing could bring him, when his lady died,
  Anodyne for his love.
  Words were but wasted breath;
  One dear hope had he:
  The inclemency
  Of that or the next winter would be death.

  Two thoughts were so mixed up I could not tell
  Whether of her or God he thought the most,
  But think that his mind's eye,
  When upward turned, on one sole image fell,
  And that a slight companionable ghost,
  Wild with divinity,
  Had so lit up the whole
  Immense miraculous house,
  The Bible promised us,
  It seemed a gold-fish swimming in a bowl.

  On Florence Emery I call the next,
  Who finding the first wrinkles on a face
  Admired and beautiful,
  And knowing that the future would be vexed
  With 'minished beauty, multiplied commonplace,
  Preferred to teach a school,
  Away from neighbour or friend
  Among dark skins, and there
  Permit foul years to wear
  Hidden from eyesight to the unnoticed end.

  Before that end much had she ravelled out
  From a discourse in figurative speech
  By some learned Indian
  On the soul's journey. How it is whirled about,
  Wherever the orbit of the moon can reach,
  Until it plunged into the sun;
  And there free and yet fast,
  Being both Chance and Choice,
  Forget its broken toys
  And sink into its own delight at last.

  And I call up MacGregor from the grave,
  For in my first hard springtime we were friends,
  Although of late estranged.
  I thought him half a lunatic, half knave,
  And told him so, but friendship never ends;
  And what if mind seem changed,
  And it seem changed with the mind,
  When thoughts rise up unbid
  On generous things that he did
  And I grow half contented to be blind.

  He had much industry at setting out,
  Much boisterous courage, before loneliness
  Had driven him crazed;
  For meditations upon unknown thought
  Make human intercourse grow less and less;
  They are neither paid nor praised.
  But he'd object to the host,
  The glass because my glass;
  A ghost-lover he was
  And may have grown more arrogant being a ghost.

  But names are nothing. What matter who it be,
  So that his elements have grown so fine
  The fume of muscatel
  Can give his sharpened palate ecstasy
  No living man can drink from the whole wine.
  I have mummy truths to tell
  Whereat the living mock,
  Though not for sober ear,
  For maybe all that hear
  Should laugh and weep an hour upon the clock.

  Such thought--such thought have I that hold it tight
  Till meditation master all its parts,
  Nothing can stay my glance
  Until that glance run in the world's despite
  To where the damned have howled away their hearts,
  And where the blessed dance;
  Such thought, that in it bound
  I need no other thing
  Wound in mind's wandering,
  As mummies in the mummy-cloth are wound.

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