There is a definite change in tone in his next poem

There is a definite change in tone in his next poem, ‘Easter 1916’, where he now pays tribute to the very people he had derided in ‘September 1913’ for their lack of passion. These people have now died for a cause, and that cause was Ireland. Just like the martyrs of the previous poem, they too now gave up their lives for their country. However, Yeats seems to have changed his stance also regarding this idea of nationalism and martyrdom, asking poignant questions to reflect this: “Too long a sacrifice can make a stone of the heart. O when may it suffice?…Was it needless death after all?…And what if excess of love bewildered them till they died?” And Ireland is “changed, changed utterly: A terrible beauty is born.” This is no celebratory poem, extolling the boldness and bravery of the rebels. Yeats points out, not exactly the futility of violence, but the difficulty that lies in ‘the cause.’ “Hearts with one purpose alone,” rebels with a single-mindedness that led them to this blood sacrifice, have managed to uproot his arguments from ‘September 1913,’ and have proven now of their love for their country, indeed of their “excess of love.”

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