William Butler Yeats

William Butler

Irish Poet, Playwright

Author Quotes

Swift has sailed into his rest; savage indignation there cannot lacerate his breast. Imitate him if you dare, world-besotted traveler; he served human liberty.

That is not natural in an age like this.

The brilliant moon and all the milky sky.

The host is rushing 'twixt day and night, and where is there hope or deed as fair? Caoilte tossing his burning hair, and Niamh calling ?Away, come away.?

The portraits, of more historical than artistic interest, had gone; and tapestry, full of the blue and bronze of peacocks, fell over the doors, and shut out all history and activity untouched with beauty and peace; and now when I looked at my Crevelli and pondered on the rose in the hand of the Virgin, wherein the form was so delicate and precise that it seemed more like a thought than a flower, or at the grey dawn and rapturous faces of my Francesca, I knew all a Christian's ecstasy without his slavery to rule and custom; when I pondered over the antique bronze gods and goddesses, which I had mortgaged my house to buy, I had all a pagan's delight in various beauty and without his terror at sleepless destiny and his labor with many sacrifices; and I had only to go to my bookshelf, where every book was bound in leather, stamped with intricate ornament, and of a carefully chosen color: Shakespeare in the orange of the glory of the world, Dante in the dull red of his anger, Milton in the blue grey of his formal calm; and I could experience what I would of human passions without their bitterness and without satiety. I had gathered about me all gods because I believed in none, and experienced every pleasure because I gave myself to none, but held myself apart, individual, indissoluble, a mirror of polished steel: I looked in the triumph of this imagination at the birds of Hera, glowing in the firelight as though they were wrought of jewels; and to my mind, for which symbolism was a necessity, they seemed the doorkeepers of my world, shutting out all that was not of as affluent a beauty as their own; and for a moment I thought as I had thought in so many other moments, that it was possible to rob life of every bitterness except the bitterness of death; and then a thought which had followed this thought, time after time, filled me with a passionate sorrow.

The triumph look down with contempt.

Their sadness through a hollow, pearly heart.

Thereon he shook the more and cast him down.

Those masterful images because complete grew in pure mind, but out of what began? A mound of refuse or the sweepings of a street, old kettles, old bottles, and a broken can, old iron, old bones, old rags, that raving slut who keeps the till. Now that my ladder's gone, I must lie down where all the ladders start in the foul rag and bone shop of the heart.

To help good, wise or great .

Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

Was done to make it plain.

We must not make a false faith by hiding from our thoughts the causes of doubt, for faith is the highest achievement of the human intellect, the only gift man can make to God, and therefore it must be offered in sincerity.

What matter if I live it all once more? Endure that toil of growing up; the ignominy of boyhood; the distress of boyhood changing into man; the unfinished man and his pain brought face to face with his own clumsiness; the finished man among his enemies? ? How in the name of heaven can he escape that defiling and disfigured shape the mirror of malicious eyes casts upon his eyes until at last he thinks that shape must be his shape?

When one gets quiet, then something wakes up inside one, something happy and quiet like the stars.

Whether under its daylight or its stars.

Who rise, wing above wing, flame above flame.

With apple blossoms in her hair.

You have accused me of upsetting order by my free drinks, and I have showed you that there is a more dreadful fermentation in the Sermon on the Mount than in my beer-barrels. Christ thought it in the irresponsibility of His omnipotence.

Take, if you must, this little bag of dreams, unloose the cord, and they will wrap you round.

That it was Eros himself, and that his face was veiled because no man or woman from the beginning.

The cap and the bells - The jester walked in the garden: the garden had fallen still; he bade his soul rise upward and stand on her window-sill. It rose in a straight blue garment, when owls began to call: it had grown wise-tongued by thinking of a quiet and light footfall; but the young queen would not listen; she rose in her pale night-gown; she drew in the heavy casement and pushed the latches down. He bade his heart go to her, when the owls called out no more; in a red and quivering garment it sang to her through the door. It had grown sweet-tongued by dreaming of a flutter of flower-like hair; but she took up her fan from the table and waved it off on the air. 'I have cap and bells,' he pondered, 'I will send them to her and die'; and when the morning whitened he left them where she went by. She laid them upon her bosom, under a cloud of her hair, and her red lips sang them a love-song till stars grew out of the air. She opened her door and her window, and the heart and the soul came through, to her right hand came the red one, to her left hand came the blue. They set up a noise like crickets, a chattering wise and sweet, and her hair was a folded flower and the quiet of love in her feet.

The house ghost is usually a harmless and well-meaning creature. It is put up with as long as possible. It brings good luck to those who live with it.

The rattle of pebbles on the shore.

The true faith discovered was When painted panel, statuary, Glass-mosaic, window-glass, Amended what was told awry by some peasant gospeler.

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William Butler
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Irish Poet, Playwright