William Butler Yeats

A Dramatic Poem By William Butler Yeats

A Dramatic Poem By William Butler Yeats

A Dramatic Poem The deck of an ancient ship. At the right of the stage is the mast, with a large square sail hiding a great deal of the sky and sea on that side. The tiller is at the left of the stage; it is a long oar coming through an opening in the bulwark. The deck rises in a series of steps heh... »

To His Heart, Bidding It Have No Fear By William Butler Yeats

To His Heart, Bidding It Have No Fear By William Butler Yeats

To His Heart, Bidding It Have No Fear BE you still, be you still, trembling heart; Remember the wisdom out of the old days: Him who trembles before the flame and the flood, And the winds that blow through the starry ways, Let the starry winds and the flame and the flood Cover over and hide, for he h... »

The Two Kings By William Butler Yeats

The Two Kings By William Butler Yeats

The Two Kings KING EOCHAID came at sundown to a wood Westward of Tara. Hurrying to his queen He had outridden his war-wasted men That with empounded cattle trod the mire, And where beech-trees had mixed a pale green light With the ground-ivy’s blue, he saw a stag Whiter than curds, its eyes th... »

The Ragged Wood By William Butler Yeats

The Ragged Wood By William Butler Yeats

The Ragged Wood O HURRY where by water among the trees The delicate-stepping stag and his lady sigh, When they have but looked upon their images — Would none had ever loved but you and I! Or have you heard that sliding silver-shoed Pale silver-proud queen-woman of the sky, When the sun looked ... »

The Lady’s Third Song By William Butler Yeats

The Lady’s Third Song By William Butler Yeats

The Lady’s Third Song WHEN you and my true lover meet And he plays tunes between your feet. Speak no evil of the soul, Nor think that body is the whole, For I that am his daylight lady Know worse evil of the body; But in honour split his love Till either neither have enough, That I may hear if... »

The Death of Cuchulain By William Butler Yeats

The Death of Cuchulain By William Butler Yeats

The Death of Cuchulain The harlot sang to the beggar-man. I meet them face to face, Conall, Cuchulain, Usna’s boys, All that most ancient race; Maeve had three in an hour, they say. I adore those clever eyes, Those muscular bodies, but can get No grip upon their thighs. I meet those long pale ... »

Shepherd And Goatherd By William Butler Yeats

Shepherd And Goatherd By William Butler Yeats

Shepherd And Goatherd Shepherd. That cry’s from the first cuckoo of the year. I wished before it ceased. Goatherd. Nor bird nor beast Could make me wish for anything this day, Being old, but that the old alone might die, And that would be against God’s providence. Let the young wish. But... »

Mohini Chatterjee By William Butler Yeats

Mohini Chatterjee By William Butler Yeats

Mohini Chatterjee I ASKED if I should pray. But the Brahmin said, ‘pray for nothing, say Every night in bed, ‘I have been a king, I have been a slave, Nor is there anything. Fool, rascal, knave, That I have not been, And yet upon my breast A myriad heads have lain.”’ That he ... »

Fallen Majesty By William Butler Yeats

Fallen Majesty By William Butler Yeats

Fallen Majesty Although crowds gathered once if she but showed her face, And even old men’s eyes grew dim, this hand alone, Like some last courtier at a gypsy camping-place Babbling of fallen majesty, records what’s gone. The lineaments, a heart that laughter has made sweet, These, these... »

Baile And Aillinn By William Butler Yeats

Baile And Aillinn By William Butler Yeats

Baile And Aillinn ARGUMENT. Baile and Aillinn were lovers, but Aengus, the Master of Love, wishing them to he happy in his own land among the dead, told to each a story of the other’s death, so that their hearts were broken and they died. I HARDLY hear the curlew cry, Nor thegrey rush when the... »

A Model For The Laureate By William Butler Yeats

A Model For The Laureate By William Butler Yeats

A Model For The Laureate ON thrones from China to Peru All sorts of kings have sat That men and women of all sorts proclaimed both good and great; And what’s the odds if such as these For reason of the State Should keep their lovers waiting, Keep their lovers waiting? Some boast of beggar-king... »

What Was Lost By William Butler Yeats

What Was Lost By William Butler Yeats

What Was Lost I SING what was lost and dread what was won, I walk in a battle fought over again, My king a lost king, and lost soldiers my men; Feet to the Rising and Setting may run, They always beat on the same small stone. »

Three Things By William Butler Yeats

Three Things By William Butler Yeats

Three Things `O cruel Death, give three things back,’ Sang a bone upon the shore; `A child found all a child can lack, Whether of pleasure or of rest, Upon the abundance of my breast’: A bone wave-whitened and dried in the wind. `Three dear things that women know,’ Sang a bhone upo... »

The Sorrow Of Love By William Butler Yeats

The Sorrow Of Love By William Butler Yeats

The Sorrow Of Love THE brawling of a sparrow in the eaves, The brilliant moon and all the milky sky, And all that famous harmony of leaves, Had blotted out man’s image and his cry. A girl arose that had red mournful lips And seemed the greatness of the world in tears, Doomed like Odysseus and ... »

The O’Rahilly By William Butler Yeats

The O’Rahilly By William Butler Yeats

The O’Rahilly SING of the O’Rahilly, Do not deny his right; Sing a ‘the’ before his name; Allow that he, despite All those learned historians, Established it for good; He wrote out that word himself, He christened himself with blood. How goes the weather? Sing of the O’... »

The Happy Townland By William Butler Yeats

The Happy Townland By William Butler Yeats

The Happy Townland THERE’S many a strong farmer Whose heart would break in two, If he could see the townland That we are riding to; Boughs have their fruit and blossom At all times of the year; Rivers are running over With red beer and brown beer. An old man plays the bagpipes In a golden and ... »

The Cat And The Moon By William Butler Yeats

The Cat And The Moon By William Butler Yeats

The Cat And The Moon THE cat went here and there And the moon spun round like a top, And the nearest kin of the moon, The creeping cat, looked up. Black Minnaloushe stared at the moon, For, wander and wail as he would, The pure cold light in the sky Troubled his animal blood. Minnaloushe runs in the... »

Presences By William Butler Yeats

Presences By William Butler Yeats

Presences THIS night has been so strange that it seemed As if the hair stood up on my head. From going-down of the sun I have dreamed That women laughing, or timid or wild, In rustle of lace or silken stuff, Climbed up my creaking stair. They had read All I had rhymed of that monstrous thing Returne... »

He Wishes For The Cloths Of Heaven By William Butler Yeats

He Wishes For The Cloths Of Heaven By William Butler Yeats

He Wishes For The Cloths Of Heaven 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 ... »

Crazy Jane On The Day Of Judgment By William Butler Yeats

Crazy Jane On The Day Of Judgment By William Butler Yeats

Crazy Jane On The Day Of Judgment ‘Love is all Unsatisfied That cannot take the whole Body and soul’; And that is what Jane said. ‘Take the sour If you take me I can scoff and lour And scold for an hour.’ “That’s certainly the case,’ said he. ‘Naked I ... »

Alternative Song For The Severd Head In – The King Of The Great Clock Tower By William Butler Yeats

Alternative Song For The Severd Head In – The King Of The Great Clock Tower By William Butler Yeats

Alternative Song For The Severd Head In – The King Of The Great Clock Tower SADDLE and ride, I heard a man say, Out of Ben Bulben and Knocknarea, i{What says the Clock in the Great Clock Tower?} All those tragic characters ride But turn from Rosses’ crawling tide, The meet’s upon t... »

A Man Young And Old I. First Love By William Butler Yeats

A Man Young And Old I. First Love By William Butler Yeats

A Man Young And Old I. First Love Though nurtured like the sailing moon In beauty’s murderous brood, She walked awhile and blushed awhile And on my pathway stood Until I thought her body bore A heart of flesh and blood. But since I laid a hand thereon And found a heart of stone I have attempte... »

Two Songs Of A Fool By William Butler Yeats

Two Songs Of A Fool By William Butler Yeats

Two Songs Of A Fool I A speckled cat and a tame hare Eat at my hearthstone And seep there; And both look up to me alone For learning and defence As I look up to Providence. I start out of my sleep to think Some day I may forget Their food and drink; Or, the house door left unshut, The hare may run t... »

The Wild Swans At Coole By William Butler Yeats

The Wild Swans At Coole By William Butler Yeats

The Wild Swans At Coole THE trees are in their autumn beauty, The woodland paths are dry, Under the October twilight the water Mirrors a still sky; Upon the brimming water among the stones Are nine-and-fifty Swans. The nineteenth autumn has come upon me Since I first made my count; I saw, before I h... »

The Scholars By William Butler Yeats

The Scholars By William Butler Yeats

The Scholars BALD heads forgetful of their sins, Old, learned, respectable bald heads Edit and annotate the lines That young men, tossing on their beds, Rhymed out in love’s despair To flatter beauty’s ignorant ear. All shuffle there; all cough in ink; All wear the carpet with their shoe... »

The Madness Of King Goll By William Butler Yeats

The Madness Of King Goll By William Butler Yeats

The Madness Of King Goll I SAT on cushioned otter-skin: My word was law from Ith to Emain, And shook at Inver Amergin The hearts of the world-troubling seamen, And drove tumult and war away From girl and boy and man and beast; The fields grew fatter day by day, The wild fowl of the air increased; An... »

The Fascination Of What’s Difficult By William Butler Yeats

The Fascination Of What’s Difficult By William Butler Yeats

The Fascination Of What’s Difficult THE fascination of what’s difficult Has dried the sap out of my veins, and rent Spontaneous joy and natural content Out of my heart. There’s something ails our colt That must, as if it had not holy blood Nor on Olympus leaped from cloud to cloud,... »

That The Night Come By William Butler Yeats

That The Night Come By William Butler Yeats

That The Night Come SHE lived in storm and strife, Her soul had such desire For what proud death may bring That it could not endure The common good of life, But lived as ’twere a king That packed his marriage day With banneret and pennon, Trumpet and kettledrum, And the outrageous cannon, To b... »

On A Political Prisoner By William Butler Yeats

On A Political Prisoner By William Butler Yeats

On A Political Prisoner SHE that but little patience knew, From childhood on, had now so much A grey gull lost its fear and flew Down to her cell and there alit, And there endured her fingers’ touch And from her fingers ate its bit. Did she in touching that lone wing Recall the years before he... »

Girl’s Song By William Butler Yeats

Girl’s Song By William Butler Yeats

Girl’s Song I went out alone To sing a song or two, My fancy on a man, And you know who. Another came in sight That on a stick relied To hold himself upright; I sat and cried. And that was all my song – When everything is told, Saw I an old man young Or young man old? »

Colonel Martin By William Butler Yeats

Colonel Martin By William Butler Yeats

Colonel Martin THE Colonel went out sailing, He spoke with Turk and Jew, With Christian and with Infidel, For all tongues he knew. ‘O what’s a wifeless man?’ said he, And he came sailing home. He rose the latch and went upstairS And found an empty room. The Colonel went out sailing... »

A Woman Homer Sung By William Butler Yeats

A Woman Homer Sung By William Butler Yeats

A Woman Homer Sung IF any man drew near When I was young, I thought, ‘He holds her dear,’ And shook with hate and fear. But O! ’twas bitter wrong If he could pass her by With an indifferent eye. Whereon I wrote and wrought, And now, being grey, I dream that I have brought To such a... »

Young Man’s Song By William Butler Yeats

Young Man’s Song By William Butler Yeats

Young Man’s Song ‘She will change,’ I cried. ‘Into a withered crone.’ The heart in my side, That so still had lain, In noble rage replied And beat upon the bone: ‘Uplift those eyes and throw Those glances unafraid: She would as bravely show Did all the fabric fade... »

To Dorothy Wellesley By William Butler Yeats

To Dorothy Wellesley By William Butler Yeats

To Dorothy Wellesley STRETCH towards the moonless midnight of the trees, As though that hand could reach to where they stand, And they but famous old upholsteries Delightful to the touch; tighten that hand As though to draw them closer yet. Rammed full Of that most sensuous silence of the night (For... »

The Travail Of Passion By William Butler Yeats

The Travail Of Passion By William Butler Yeats

The Travail Of Passion WHEN the flaming lute-thronged angelic door is wide; When an immortal passion breathes in mortal clay; Our hearts endure the scourge, the plaited thorns, the way Crowded with bitter faces, the wounds in palm and side, The vinegar-heavy sponge, the flowers by Kedron stream; We ... »

The Poet Pleads With The Elemental Powers By William Butler Yeats

The Poet Pleads With The Elemental Powers By William Butler Yeats

The Poet Pleads With The Elemental Powers THE Powers whose name and shape no living creature knows Have pulled the Immortal Rose; And though the Seven Lights bowed in their dance and wept, The Polar Dragon slept, His heavy rings uncoiled from glimmering deep to deep: When will he wake from sleep? Gr... »

The Lady’s Second Song By William Butler Yeats

The Lady’s Second Song By William Butler Yeats

The Lady’s Second Song WHAT sort of man is coming To lie between your feet? What matter, we are but women. Wash; make your body sweet; I have cupboards of dried fragrance. I can strew the sheet. The Lord have mercy upon us. He shall love my soul as though Body were not at all, He shall love yo... »

The Dancer At Cruachan And Cro-Patrick By William Butler Yeats

The Dancer At Cruachan And Cro-Patrick By William Butler Yeats

The Dancer At Cruachan And Cro-Patrick I, proclaiming that there is Among birds or beasts or men One that is perfect or at peace. Danced on Cruachan’s windy plain, Upon Cro-patrick sang aloud; All that could run or leap or swim Whether in wood, water or cloud, Acclaiming, proclaiming, declaimi... »

Shepherd And Goatheard By William Butler Yeats

Shepherd And Goatheard By William Butler Yeats

Shepherd And Goatheard Shepherd. That cry’s from the first cuckoo of the year. I wished before it ceased. Goatherd. Nor bird nor beast Could make me wish for anything this day, Being old, but that the old alone might die, And that would be against God’s providence. Let the young wish. Bu... »

Michael Robartes And The Dancer By William Butler Yeats

Michael Robartes And The Dancer By William Butler Yeats

Michael Robartes And The Dancer He. Opinion is not worth a rush; In this altar-piece the knight, Who grips his long spear so to push That dragon through the fading light, Loved the lady; and it’s plain The half-dead dragon was her thought, That every morning rose again And dug its claws and sh... »

Ephemera By William Butler Yeats

Ephemera By William Butler Yeats

Ephemera ‘YOUR eyes that once were never weary of mine Are bowed in sotrow under pendulous lids, Because our love is waning.’ And then She: ‘Although our love is waning, let us stand By the lone border of the lake once more, Together in that hour of gentleness When the poor tired c... »

At Galway Races By William Butler Yeats

At Galway Races By William Butler Yeats

At Galway Races THERE where the course is, Delight makes all of the one mind, The riders upon the galloping horses, The crowd that closes in behind: We, too, had good attendance once, Hearers and hearteners of the work; Aye, horsemen for companions, Before the merchant and the clerk Breathed on the ... »

A Memory Of Youth By William Butler Yeats

A Memory Of Youth By William Butler Yeats

A Memory Of Youth THE moments passed as at a play; I had the wisdom love brings forth; I had my share of mother-wit, And yet for all that I could say, And though I had her praise for it, A cloud blown from the cut-throat North Suddenly hid Love’s moon away. Believing every word I said, I prais... »

What Then By William Butler Yeats

What Then By William Butler Yeats

What Then HIS chosen comrades thought at school He must grow a famous man; He thought the same and lived by rule, All his twenties crammed with toil; ‘What then?’ sang Plato’s ghost. ‘What then?’ Everything he wrote was read, After certain years he won Sufficient money ... »

Three Songs To The Same Tune By William Butler Yeats

Three Songs To The Same Tune By William Butler Yeats

Three Songs To The Same Tune I GRANDFATHER sang it under the gallows: ‘ Hear, gentlemen, ladies, and all mankind: Money is good and a girl might be better. But good strong blows are delights to the mind.’ There, standing on the catt, He sang it from his heart. Those fanatics all that we ... »

The Song Of Wandering Aengus By William Butler Yeats

The Song Of Wandering Aengus By William Butler Yeats

The Song Of Wandering Aengus I WENT out to the hazel wood, Because a fire was in my head, And cut and peeled a hazel wand, And hooked a berry to a thread; And when white moths were on the wing, And moth-like stars were flickering out, I dropped the berry in a stream And caught a little silver trout.... »

The Old Age Of Queen Maeve By William Butler Yeats

The Old Age Of Queen Maeve By William Butler Yeats

The Old Age Of Queen Maeve A certain poet in outlandish clothes Gathered a crowd in some Byzantine lane, Talked1 of his country and its people, sang To some stringed instrument none there had seen, A wall behind his back, over his head A latticed window. His glance went up at time As though one list... »

The Gyres By William Butler Yeats

The Gyres By William Butler Yeats

The Gyres THE GYRES! the gyres! Old Rocky Face, look forth; Things thought too long can be no longer thought, For beauty dies of beauty, worth of worth, And ancient lineaments are blotted out. Irrational streams of blood are staining earth; Empedocles has thrown all things about; Hector is dead and ... »

The Blessed By William Butler Yeats

The Blessed By William Butler Yeats

The Blessed CUMHAL called out, bending his head, Till Dathi came and stood, With a blink in his eyes, at the cave-mouth, Between the wind and the wood. And Cumhal said, bending his knees, ‘I have come by the windy way And learn to pray when you pray. ‘I can bring you salmon out of the st... »

Politics By William Butler Yeats

Politics By William Butler Yeats

Politics HOW can I, that girl standing there, My attention fix On Roman or on Russian Or on Spanish politics? Yet here’s a travelled man that knows What he talks about, And there’s a politician That has read and thought, And maybe what they say is true Of war and war’s alarms, But ... »

He Thinks Of Those Who Have Spoken Evil Of His Beloved By William Butler Yeats

He Thinks Of Those Who Have Spoken Evil Of His Beloved By William Butler Yeats

He Thinks Of Those Who Have Spoken Evil Of His Beloved HALF close your eyelids, loosen your hair, And dream about the great and their pride; They have spoken against you everywhere, But weigh this song with the great and their pride; I made it out of a mouthful of air, Their children’s childre... »

Crazy Jane Reproved By William Butler Yeats

Crazy Jane Reproved By William Butler Yeats

Crazy Jane Reproved I care not what the sailors say: All those dreadful thunder-stones, All that storm that blots the day Can but show that Heaven yawns; Great Europa played the fool That changed a lover for a bull. Fol de rol, fol de rol. To round that shell’s elaborate whorl, Adorning every ... »

All Things Can Tempt Me By William Butler Yeats

All Things Can Tempt Me By William Butler Yeats

All Things Can Tempt Me ALL things can tempt me from this craft of verse: One time it was a woman’s face, or worse — The seeming needs of my fool-driven land; Now nothing but comes readier to the hand Than this accustomed toil. When I was young, I had not given a penny for a song Did not... »

A Man Young And Old By William Butler Yeats

A Man Young And Old By William Butler Yeats

A Man Young And Old I First Love THOUGH nurtured like the sailing moon In beauty’s murderous brood, She walked awhile and blushed awhile And on my pathway stood Until I thought her body bore A heart of flesh and blood. But since I laid a hand thereon And found a heart of stone I have attempted... »

Two Songs Rewritten For The Tune’s Sake By William Butler Yeats

Two Songs Rewritten For The Tune’s Sake By William Butler Yeats

Two Songs Rewritten For The Tune’s Sake I My Paistin Finn is my sole desire, And I am shrunken to skin and bone, For all my heart has had for its hire Is what I can whistle alone and alone. Oro, oro.! Tomorrow night I will break down the door. What is the good of a man and he Alone and alone, ... »

The Wild Old Wicked Man By William Butler Yeats

The Wild Old Wicked Man By William Butler Yeats

The Wild Old Wicked Man BECAUSE I am mad about women I am mad about the hills,’ Said that wild old wicked man Who travels where God wills. ‘Not to die on the straw at home. Those hands to close these eyes, That is all I ask, my dear, From the old man in the skies. Daybreak and a candle-e... »

The Rose Tree By William Butler Yeats

The Rose Tree By William Butler Yeats

The Rose Tree ‘O WORDS are lightly spoken,’ Said Pearse to Connolly, ‘Maybe a breath of politic words Has withered our Rose Tree; Or maybe but a wind that blows Across the bitter sea.’ ‘It needs to be but watered,’ James Connolly replied, ‘To make the green ... »

The Lover Tells Of The Rose In His Heart By William Butler Yeats

The Lover Tells Of The Rose In His Heart By William Butler Yeats

The Lover Tells Of The Rose In His Heart ALL things uncomely and broken, all things worn out and old, The cry of a child by the roadway, the creak of a lumbering cart, The heavy steps of the ploughman, splashing the wintry mould, Are wronging your image that blossoms a rose in the deeps of my heart.... »

The Falling Of The Leaves By William Butler Yeats

The Falling Of The Leaves By William Butler Yeats

The Falling Of The Leaves AUTUMN is over the long leaves that love us, And over the mice in the barley sheaves; Yellow the leaves of the rowan above us, And yellow the wet wild-strawberry leaves. The hour of the waning of love has beset us, And weary and worn are our sad souls now; Let us patt, ere ... »

Symbols By William Butler Yeats

Symbols By William Butler Yeats

Symbols A STORM BEATEN old watch-tower, A blind hermit rings the hour. All-destroying sword-blade still Carried by the wandering fool. Gold-sewn silk on the sword-blade, Beauty and fool together laid. »