I’m no scholar, but it seems to me
that Yeats has it wrong,
or at least upside down, when he
Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven.
The sky’s not for walking, William Butler,
and “don’t tread on my dreams”
sounds too precious by half. But wait –
wouldn’t Maud Gunne stride instead?
Dreams that linger long enough
for the work of metaphor lose their airiness,
they go from gossamer to lead.
He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven
Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
– William Butler Yeats