At Coole Park

by William Ruleman (May 2015)

(14 May 2013)

Rain kept its distance while

We hiked the Seven Woods’ trail,

Pondering, with a smile,

How Yeats had learned to fail

In love and carve a style

All while seated there

Beside those waters where


We too had sat that day.

Almost too weak to rise

And dress on one sad stay,

He scanned the summer skies,

The woods, the leafy way,

The park, but every place

He looked, he saw her face.


How much luckier, we!

Thirty years together—

Roughly the term that he

Stretched his threadbare tether

And warped his destiny

To woo a woman who

Could only make him blue.


Thirty years of bliss!

Well, not entirely so,

Yet mornings such as this—

A miracle, love, I know,

That someday we might miss.

For will I wake some dawn

To find my own Maud gone?


The lough gleamed lilac through

The lime-green leaves of spring.

Despite what time might do—

However sharp its sting—

I had this day with you,

Your red hair’s fiery sheen

Amid the Seven Woods’ green.



William Ruleman is Professor of English at Tennessee Wesleyan College. His recent publications include poems and translations in Ezra, The Galway Review, The Pennsylvania Review, and The Sonnet Scroll, as well as two books of translation: of prose and poetry by Stefan Zweig in A Girl and the Weather and of poetry by the German Romantics in Verse for the Journey: Poems on the Wandering Life (both available from Cedar Springs Books via

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