by William Butler Yeats
Sudden as I sat in a wood
An old grey man before me stood
And his eyes were burning with molten fire
And he touched the notes of a silver lyre.
- W. B. Yeats, "The Old Grey Man"
Thirty-eight early poems of William Butler Yeats from the 1880s and 1890s are included in this slim volume. They foreshadow the great poetry that would shower forth from his pen in the following century and are worth reading in that light. More than the poetry of the average young man, these poems suggest a depth of thought and feeling that is already present in the man. Moments of beauty and a sense of potential lie amidst the sometimes awkward prose, but who am I to contend that this is less than could be done by any genius of such an age? The innocence and naive charm of these poems makes them worthy of consideration.
Under the Moon: The Unpublished Early Poetry by William Butler Yeats. Scribners, New York. 1995