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To A Wealthy Man Who Promised A Second Subscription To The Dublin Municipal Gallery If It Were Proved The People Wanted Pictures

William Butler Yeats

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Added by: Leonard Cottrell
Look up in the sun's eye and give
What the exultant heart calls good
That some new day may breed the best
Because you gave, not what they would,
But the right twigs for an eagle's nest!

A civic poem. I don't know of anybody who has said this better. Knows how to use history to argue that in the long run high and great art makes cities great. and there is a kind of long-term payoff, hard to describe in ordinary material terms like "payoff". the soul has not only folkloric and democratic roots, it has aristocratic roots and is nourished by those as well. This poem is a needed counterweight. Clear statement of something not often said that frankly and simply.
Added by: Christopher Slater-Walker
All our actions have consequences, and as this poem demonstrates, where the action itself is noble, the consequences may be good, event though they are not immediate.

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