HAD I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
Short Poem Analysis
"He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven" by W.B. Yeats is a heartfelt and lyrical poem that expresses the speaker's profound desire to offer something of great beauty and value to a beloved. Through its rich imagery and emotional depth, the poem captures themes of love, sacrifice, and the limitations of human offerings.
The poem's title immediately introduces the theme of longing and aspiration. The phrase "Cloths of Heaven" suggests something luxurious and rare, symbolizing the most precious and valuable possession the speaker could offer.
The opening lines, "Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths" establish the speaker's hypothetical scenario of being able to bestow grand and celestial gifts upon the beloved. This sets a tone of romantic and imaginative longing.
The poem's vivid imagery, including "gold and silver light," "darkness and the half-light," and "tread of the sweet winds" creates a visual and sensory landscape that conveys the speaker's deep affection and the splendor of the offerings he wishes to give.
However, as the poem progresses, the speaker's humility and acknowledgment of limitations become apparent. He recognizes that he has "only my dreams" to offer, revealing his awareness that the grandeur of his intentions might not match his actual means.
The final lines, "Tread softly because you tread on my dreams," encapsulate the poem's emotional core. The plea for gentle treatment underscores the fragility of the speaker's emotions and dreams, suggesting that the beloved's response carries great weight and impact.
"He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven" is a poignant expression of love and vulnerability. The poem's rich imagery and heartfelt sentiment convey the depth of the speaker's emotions and his yearning to give something of immense beauty to the beloved. Ultimately, the poem captures the essence of the sacrifices and vulnerability that often accompany profound affection.