My Table, by William Butler Yeats

My Table

Two heavy tressels, and a boardWhere Sato’s gift, a changeless sword,By pen and paper lies,That it may moraliseMy days out of their aimlessness.A bit of an embroidered dressCovers its wooden sheath.Chaucer had not drawn breathWhen it was forged. In Sato’s house,Curved like new moon, moon luminousIt lay five hundred years;Yet if no change appearsNo moon: only an aching heartConceives a changeless work of art.Our learned men have urgedThat when and where ’twas forgedA marvellous accomplishment,In painting or in pottery, wentFrom father unto sonAnd through the centuries ranAnd seemed unchanging like the sword.Soul’s beauty being most adored,Men and their business tookThe soul’s unchanging look;For the most rich inheritor,Knowing that none can pass heaven’s doorThat loved inferior art,Had such an aching heartThat he, although a country’s talkFor silken clothes and stately walk,Had waking wits; it seemedJuno’s peacock screamed. - William Butler Yeats

William Butler Yeats