FERGUS AND THE DRUID i{Fergus.} This whole day have I followed in the rocks, And you have changed and flowed from shape to shape, First as a raven on whose ancient wings Scarcely a feather lingered, then you seemed A weasel moving on from stone to stone, And now at last you wear a human shape, A thin grey man half lost in gathering night. i{Druid.} What would you, king of the proud Red Branch kings? i{Fergus.} This would I Say, most wise of living souls: Young subtle Conchubar sat close by me When I gave judgment, and his words were wise, And what to me was burden without end, To him seemed easy, So I laid the crown Upon his head to cast away my sorrow. i{Druid.} What would you, king of the proud Red Branch kings? i{Fergus.} A king and proud! and that is my despair. I feast amid my people on the hill, And pace the woods, and drive my chariot-wheels In the white border of the murmuring sea; And still I feel the crown upon my head. i{Druid.} What would you, Fergus? i{Fergus.} Be no more a king But learn the dreaming wisdom that is yours. i{Druid.} Look on my thin grey hair and hollow cheeks And on these hands that may not lift the sword, This body trembling like a wind-blown reed. No woman's loved me, no man sought my help. i{Fergus.} A king is but a foolish labourer Who wastes his blood to be another's dream. i{Druid.} Take, if you must, this little bag of dreams; Unloose the cord, and they will wrap you round. i{Fergus.} I See my life go drifting like a river From change to change; I have been many things -- A green drop in the surge, a gleam of light Upon a sword, a fir-tree on a hill, An old slave grinding at a heavy quern, A king sitting upon a chair of gold -- And all these things were wonderful and great; But now I have grown nothing, knowing all. Ah! Druid, Druid, how great webs of sorrow Lay hidden in the small slate-coloured thing!