Upon St. Patrick’s Day

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Algy dyed his hair green, and recited one of his favourite poems:

          I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
          And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
          Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
          And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

          And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
          Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
          There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
          And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

          I will arise and go now, for always night and day
          I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
          While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
          I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

[Listen to The Lake Isle of Innisfree by William Butler Yeats read by the poet himself, in an archive recording published as part of the BBC Poetry Season.]

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Algy Perched in Mist or Cloud

          In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud,
          It perched for vespers nine …

With the sea lost again in the dense Scotch mist, Algy spent a gloomy day in the larch tree, practising his recitation of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, that cautionary tale which every young albatross is required to learn by heart.

Algy Listens to the Sea-Wash

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The sea-wash never ends.
The sea-wash repeats, repeats.
Only old songs? Is that all the sea knows?
             Only the old strong songs?
             Is that all?
The sea-wash repeats, repeats.

[Sea-Wash by Carl Sandburg originally appeared in the February 1920 issue of Poetry magazine. Listen to Sea-Wash at the Poetry Foundation.]