1

I came across this sentence in one of W.B. yeats poems:

Poet and sculptor do the work
Nor let the modish painter shirk

I have never seen the “nor” in this way. Does it mean “don’t let the modish painter shirk”?

1

It is grammatical. One sense of "nor" is "and not". Wiktionary lists that sense first.

To quote a little more of Yeats's Under Ben Bulben than the OP had:

Poet and sculptor do the work
Nor let the modish painter shirk
What his great forefathers did

Clearly, the "his" refers back to "painter". I'm inclined to agree with the OP that the 2nd and 3rd lines here mean "and don't let the modish painter shirk...".

-1

It is ungrammatical, but it would become grammatical if we were to interpolate a line "Don't let them (poet and sculptor) shirk". Now, "don't ... nor" is a correlative construction. So it's my guess that is how Yeats wanted us to interpret this.

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