“The swan, like the soul of the poet, by the dull world is ill understood.”

“The swan, like the soul of the poet, by the dull world is ill understood.” — Heinrich Heine


“There’s a double beauty whenever a swan swims on a lake with her double thereon.” — Thomas Hood

“The stately-sailing swan,

Gives out his snowy plumage to the gale;

And arching proud his neck, with oary feet

Bears forward fierce, and guards his osier isle,

Protective of his young.” – James Thomson, The Seasons, Spring

The Wild Swans at Coole

The trees are in their autumn beauty,

The woodland paths are dry,

Under the October twilight the water

Mirrors a still sky;

Upon the brimming water among the stones

Are nine-and-fifty swans.

Adult swan with two cygnets

The nineteenth autumn has come upon me

Since I first made my count;

I saw, before I had well finished,

All suddenly mount

And scatter wheeling in great broken rings

Upon their clamorous wings.

I have looked upon those brilliant creatures,

And now my heart is sore.

All’s changed since I, hearing at twilight,

The first time on this shore,

The bell-beat of their wings above my head,

Trod with a lighter tread.

Unwearied still, lover by lover,

They paddle in the cold

Companionable streams or climb the air;

Their hearts have not grown old;

Passion or conquest, wander where they will,

Attend upon them still.


But now they drift on the still water,

Mysterious, beautiful;

Among what rushes will they build,

By what lake’s edge or pool

Delight men’s eyes when I awake some day

To find they have flown away? — William Butler Yeats


All photos by Donna Hailson.