The air of the room chilled his shoulders.
He stretched himself cautiously
the sheets and lay down beside his wife.
One by one they were
Better pass boldly into that other world,
in the full
some passion, than fade
and wither dismally with age. He thought
who lay beside him had locked
in her heart for so many years that image of
lover’s eyes when he had told her
that he did not wish to live.
Generous tears filled Gabriel’s eyes. He had never felt like that
towards any woman but he knew that such a feeling must
be love. The tears
gathered more thickly in his eyes and in the
partial darkness he imagined
saw the form of a young man
standing under a dripping tree. Other forms
His soul had approached that region where dwell the
vast hosts of
dead. He was conscious of, but could
not apprehend, their wayward and
His own identity was fading out into a grey
world: the solid world itself which these dead
had one time reared and
was dissolving and dwindling.
A few light taps upon the pane made him turn to the window.
to snow again.
He watched sleepily the flakes, silver and dark,
against the lamplight.
The time had come for him to set out
on his journey
westward. Yes, the newspapers
were right: snow was general all over
It was falling on every part of the dark central plain,
on the treeless
softly upon the Bog of Allen
and, farther westward, softly falling into
mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every
part of the lonely
churchyard on the hill
where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly
the crooked crosses and headstones,
on the spears of the little gate, on
His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling
through the universe and faintly falling,
like the descent of their last
all the living
and the dead.