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The Hour-Glass

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The Hour-Glass

by W. B. Yeats

Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Myth
Setting: Fantasy
Format of Original Source: Play
Recommended Adaptation Length: 60 Minutes

Candidate for Adaptation? Not Likely


FOOL. Wait a moment. [He blows.] Four, five, six.

WISE M. What are you doing that for?

FOOL. I am blowing at the dandelion to find out what time it is.

WISE M. You have heard everything! That is why you want to find out what hour it is! You are waiting to see them coming through the door to carry me away. [FOOL goes on blowing.] Out through the door with you! I will have no one here when they come. [He seizes the FOOL by the shoulders, and begins to force him out through the door, then suddenly changes his mind.] No, I have something to ask you. [He drags him back into the room.] Is there a Heaven? Is there a Hell? Is there a Purgatory?

FOOL. So you ask me now. When you were asking your pupils, I said to myself, if he would ask Teigue the Fool, Teigue could tell him all about it, for Teigue has learned all about it when he has been cutting the nets.

WISE M. Tell me; tell me!

FOOL. I said, Teigue knows everything. Not even the cats or the hares that milk the cows have Teigue’s wisdom. But Teigue will not speak; he says nothing.

WISE M. Tell me, tell me! For under the cover the grains are falling, and when they are all fallen I shall die; and my soul will be lost if I have not found somebody that believes! Speak, speak!


Very poetic; beautiful language; turgid plotting.


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