2 December 2004
YEATS, W. B. Autograph quotation signed, n.p., n.d., written in black ink on an ivory card, one page, 87 x 143 mm.
AN APHORISM: 'AN AIMLESS JOY IS A PURE JOY', the fourth line of 'Tom O'Roughley', the phantasmagoric 8-line poem first printed in the private edition (25 copies) of Nine Poems (London: Clement Shorter, 1918).
'"Though logic choppers rule the town And every man & maid & boy Has marked a distant object down An aimless joy is a pure joy" Or so did Tom O'Roughley say That saw the surges running by And wisdom is a butterfly And not a gloomy bird of prey'.
The piece was published again in The Little Review (October 1918), and included in the second and expanded edition of The Wild Swans at Coole (London: 1919).
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