The Two Trees
Beloved, gaze in thine own heart,I encourage you to also listen to the heaven-sent voice of Loreena McKennitt sing this beautiful Yeats poem. She has titled it, Ce He Mise le Ulaingt? (Who am I to Bear It?) on her album, The Mask and the Mirror. It will make you weep with joy and sadness! We all gaze in our own hearts.
The holy tree is growing there;
From joy the holy branches start,
And all the trembling flowers they bear.
The changing colours of its fruit
Have dowered the stars with merry light;
The surety of its hidden root
Has planted quiet in the night;
The shaking of its leafy head
Has given the waves their melody,
And made my lips and music wed,
Murmuring a wizard song for thee.
There, through bewildered branches go
Winged Loves borne on in gentle strife,
Tossing and tossing to and fro
The flaming circle of our days,
The flaming circle of our life.
When looking on their shaken hair
And dreaming how they dance and dart,
Thine eyes grow full of tender care:
Beloved, gaze in thine own heart.
Gaze no more in the bitter glass
The demons, with their subtle guile.
Lift up before us when they pass,
Or only gaze a little while;
For there a fatal image grows
With broken boughs, and blackened leaves,
And roots half hidden under the snows
Driven by a storm that ever grieves.
For all things turn to barrenness
In the dim glass the demons hold,
The glass of outer weariness,
Made when God slept in times of old.
There, through the broken branches, go
The ravens of unresting thought;
Flying, crying, to and fro,
Cruel claw and hungry throat,
Or else they stand and sniff the wind,
And shake their ragged wings; alas!
Thy tender eyes grow all unkind:
Gaze no more in the bitter glass.
The photograph I have attached, at upper right, is one I made of two old oak trees in the Sierra Foothills during the Christmas holidays of 2009. The title of the image is Medusa's Children, and it seems to fit Yeats' poem just right somehow. I encourage you to 'click' on the image for a larger view. Enjoy!