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A Pretence of Wit sets five poems of W.B. Yeats which deal in different ways with the subject of nature and man's relationship to it. 'The Dawn' and 'In the Seven Woods', the two songs which frame the cycle, celebrate nature and suggest that the thoughts and actions of human beings are trivial by comparison. 'The Hawk' and 'To a Squirrel at Kyle-na-no' are shorter, more light-hearted songs which portray the eponymous animals in a more literal pictorial way. At the centre of the cycle, and at its expressive heart, lies 'To his Heart, Bidding it have no Fear', a slow song which expresses awe at the majesty of the natural world. Although the theme of nature runs through the five poems, the songs are musically independent from one another, and the intention was to create the maximum degree of contrast of mood and texture.