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On A Political Prisoner

 She that but little patience knew,
From childhood on, had now so much
A grey gull lost its fear and flew
Down to her cell and there alit,
And there endured her fingers' touch
And from her fingers ate its bit.
Did she in touching that lone wing Recall the years before her mind Became a bitter, an abstract thing, Her thought some popular enmity: Blind and leader of the blind Drinking the foul ditch where they lie? When long ago I saw her ride Under Ben Bulben to the meet, The beauty of her country-side With all youth's lonely wildness stirred, She seemed to have grown clean and sweet Like any rock-bred, sea-borne bird: Sea-borne, or balanced on the air When first it sprang out of the nest Upon some lofty rock to stare Upon the cloudy canopy, While under its storm-beaten breast Cried out the hollows of the sea.

by William Butler Yeats
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