Ugh, I’m home sick, with prescription drugs and everything, so the blog will be terribly neglected for a few days. I’m not even strong enough to walk the dog, much less concentrate on anything substantive. But I can always share a poem.
Before I got sick I was reading an excellent biography of Jonathan Swift by Leo Damrosch. I’ll have to wait to get back to that, but yesterday I was flipping through some lighter reading and I was surprised and delighted to see a poem from William Butler Yeats called Swift’s Epitaph.
Yeats wrote this poem based on Swift’s actual epitaph, which Swift wrote in Latin, and which is mounted on a plaque in St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin. The Yeats version is just beautiful.
Swift has sailed into his rest;
Savage indignation there
Cannot lacerate his Breast.
Imitate him if you dare,
World-Besotted Traveler; he
Served human liberty.
The above painting of Jonathan Swift is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author’s life plus 70 years or less.