10:19 pm - Monday July 16, 2018

Out of The Rose-by William Butler Yeast-Novel and Ebooks


Novel Name: Out of the Rose

Written by:William Butler Yeast

Category: Classics, Fiction, Short Stories, Short Novel

Page 1:

One winter evening an old knight in rusted chain-armour rode slowly
along the woody southern slope of Ben Bulben, watching the sun go
down in crimson clouds over the sea. His horse was tired, as after a
long journey, and he had upon his helmet the crest of no neighbouring
lord or king, but a small rose made of rubies that glimmered every
moment to a deeper crimson. His white hair fell in thin curls upon
his shoulders, and its disorder added to the melancholy of his face,
which was the face of one of those who have come but seldom into the
world, and always for its trouble, the dreamers who must do what they
dream, the doers who must dream what they do.

After gazing a while towards the sun, he let the reins fall upon the
neck of his horse, and, stretching out both arms towards the west, he
said, ‘O Divine Rose of Intellectual Flame, let the gates of thy
peace be opened to me at last!’ And suddenly a loud squealing began
in the woods some hundreds of yards further up the mountain side. He
stopped his horse to listen, and heard behind him a sound of feet and
of voices. ‘They are beating them to make them go into the narrow
path by the gorge,’ said someone, and in another moment a dozen
peasants armed with short spears had come up with the knight, and
stood a little apart from him, their blue caps in their hands. Where
do you go with the spears?’ he asked; and one who seemed the leader
answered: ‘A troop of wood-thieves came down from the hills a while
ago and carried off the pigs belonging to an old man who lives by
Glen Car Lough, and we turned out to go after them. Now that we know
they are four times more than we are, we follow to find the way they
have taken; and will presently tell our story to De Courcey, and if
he will not help us, to Fitzgerald; for De Courcey and Fitzgerald
have lately made a peace, and we do not know to whom we belong.’

‘But by that time,’ said the knight, ‘the pigs will have been eaten.’

‘A dozen men cannot do more, and it was not reasonable that the whole
valley should turn out and risk their lives for two, or for two dozen

‘Can you tell me,’ said the knight, ‘if the old man to whom the pigs
belong is pious and true of heart?’

‘He is as true as another and more pious than any, for he says a
prayer to a saint every morning before his breakfast.’

‘Then it were well to fight in his cause,’ said the knight, ‘and if
you will fight against the wood-thieves I will take the main brunt of
the battle, and you know well that a man in armour is worth many like
these wood-thieves, clad in wool and leather.’

And the leader turned to his fellows and asked if they would take the
chance; but they seemed anxious to get back to their cabins.

‘Are the wood-thieves treacherous and impious?’

‘They are treacherous in all their dealings,’ said a peasant, ‘and no
man has known them to pray.’

‘Then,’ said the knight, ‘I will give five crowns for the head of
every wood-thief killed by us in the fighting’; and he bid the leader
show the way, and they all went on together. After a time they came
to where a beaten track wound into the woods, and, taking this, they
doubled back upon their previous course, and began to ascend the
wooded slope of the mountains. In a little while the path grew very
straight and steep, and the knight was forced to dismount and leave
his horse tied to a tree-stem. They knew they were on the right
track: for they could see the marks of pointed shoes in the soft clay
and mingled with them the cloven footprints of the pigs. Presently
the path became still more abrupt, and they knew by the ending of the
cloven foot-prints that the thieves were carrying the pigs. Now and
then a long mark in the clay showed that a pig had slipped down, and
been dragged along for a little way. They had journeyed thus for
about twenty minutes, when a confused sound of voices told them that
they were coming up with the thieves. And then the voices ceased, and
they understood that they had been overheard in their turn. They
pressed on rapidly and cautiously, and in about five minutes one of
them caught sight of a leather jerkin half hidden by a hazel-bush. An
arrow struck the knight’s chain-armour, but glanced off harmlessly,
and then a flight of arrows swept by them with the buzzing sound of
great bees. They ran and climbed, and climbed and ran towards the
thieves, who were now all visible standing up among the bushes with
their still quivering bows in their hands: for they had only their
spears and they must at once come hand to hand. The knight was in the
front and smote down first one and then another of the wood-thieves.
The peasants shouted, and, pressing on, drove the wood-thieves before
them until they came out on the flat top of the mountain, and there
they saw the two pigs quietly grubbing in the short grass, so they
ran about them in a circle, and began to move back again towards the
narrow path: the old knight coming now the last of all, and striking
down thief after thief. The peasants had got no very serious hurts
among them, for he had drawn the brunt of the battle upon himself, as
could well be seen from the bloody rents in his armour; and when they
came to the entrance of the narrow path he bade them drive the pigs
down into the valley, while he stood there to guard the way behind
them. So in a moment he was alone, and, being weak with loss of
blood, might have been ended there and then by the wood-thieves he
had beaten off, had fear not made them begone out of sight in a great

An hour passed, and they did not return; and now the knight could
stand on guard no longer, but had to lie down upon the grass. A half-
hour more went by, and then a young lad with what appeared to be a
number of cock’s feathers stuck round his hat, came out of the path
behind him, and began to move about among the dead thieves, cutting
their heads off, Then he laid the heads in a heap before the knight,
and said: ‘O great knight, I have been bid come and ask you for the
crowns you promised for the heads: five crowns a head. They bid me
tell you that they have prayed to God and His Mother to give you a
long life, but that they are poor peasants, and that they would have
the money before you die. They told me this over and over for fear I
might forget it, and promised to beat me if I did.’

Filed in: Classics, Essays

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