Some moralist or mythological poet
Compares the solitary soul to a swan;
I am satisfied with that,
Satisfied if a troubled mirror show it,
Before that brief gleam of its life be gone,
An image of its state;
The wings half spread for flight,
The breast thrust out in pride
Whether to play, or to ride
Those winds that clamour of approaching night.
— W. B. Yeats, from “Nineteen Hundred and Nineteen,” The Tower. (Scribner January 20, 2004) Originally published 1928.