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Pauline Lerner

St. Patrick's Day

March 17, 2006 at 10:05 AM

Dreams and visions are so important. They are often stronger than reality. They can nourish and sustain us. We need only hold them close.

W.B. Yeats, the great Irish poet, wrote eloquently about dreams.

In Fergus and the Druid, a druid with mystical powers asked Fergus, a king, what he wanted.

Fergus:…Be no more a king,

A king is but a foolish labourer
Who wastes his blood to be another's dream.

Druid: Take, if you must, this little bag of dreams;
Unloose the cord, and they will wrap you round.

In He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven, a suitor entreats a maid

I would spread the cloths [of heaven] under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

In Easter, 1916, he wrote about the Irishmen who died in the Easter Rebellion, one of Ireland’s many abortive risings.

We know their dream; enough
To know they dreamed and are dead;
And what if excess of love
Bewildered them till they died?
I write it out in a verse -
MacDonagh and MacBride
And Connolly and Pearse
Now and in time to be,
Wherever green is worn,
Are changed, changed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.


Hold on to your dreams.

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