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.
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?
by William Butler Yeats
I had every intention of writing my own poem to go along with this season's portrait 'Coal Harbour Autumn', but once I stumbled upon this from W.B. Yeats, well it just resonated and I fell in love with it. I admit I am missing a few wild swans :) and yet photographing this scene at the Coal Harbour marina in Vancouver the acoustics of birds flapping around, skimming along the water and chirping as they owned the place were dancing all around as if at a bird amphitheatre. Later I felt remiss not to have taken an audio recording of the ambience to go with the photograph and in a way this poem helps give it a voice.