William Butler Yeats

William Butler

Irish Poet, Playwright

Author Quotes

Then he struggled with the mind; his proud heart he left behind. Now his wars on God begin; at stroke of midnight God shall win.

They never saw how seasons run.

Though the great song return no more.

To leave some monument behind.

Under bare Ben Bulben's head In Drumcliff churchyard Yeats is laid.

We and the laboring world are passing by: amid men's souls, that waver and give place like the pale waters in their wintry race, under the passing stars, foam of the sky, lives on this lonely face.

We taste and feel and see the truth. We do not reason ourselves into it.

What shall I do with this absurdity- O heart, O troubled heart-this caricature, decrepit age that has been tied to me as to a dog's tail? Never had I more excited, passionate, fantastical Imagination, nor an ear and eye that more expected the impossible.

When Walt Whitman writes in seeming defiance of tradition, he needs tradition for his protection, for the butcher and the baker and the candlestick-maker grow merry over him when they meet his work by chance.

While slowly he whose hand held hers replied.

Why should I blame her that she filled my days with misery, or that she would of late have taught to ignorant men most violent ways, or hurled the little streets upon the great, had they but courage equal to desire? What could have made her peaceful with a mind that nobleness made simple as a fire, with beauty like a tightened bow, a kind that is not natural in an age like this, being high and solitary and most stern? Why, what could she have done, being what she is? Was there another Troy for her to burn?

With mirthful songs before the dawn.

You think it horrible that lust and rage should dance attention upon my old age; they were not such a plague when I was young; what else have I to spur me into song?

That beautiful mild woman for whose sake there's many a one shall find out all heartache on finding that her voice is sweet and low replied, 'To be born a woman is to know-although they do not talk of it at school -that we must labor to be beautiful.

That the salt drops have wet.

The Celt, and his cromlechs, and his pillar-stones, these will not change much ? indeed, it is doubtful if anybody at all changes at any time. In spite of hosts of deniers, and asserters, and wise-men, and professors, the majority still are adverse to sitting down to dine thirteen at a table, or being helped to salt, or walking under a ladder, of seeing a single magpie flirting his chequered tale. There are, of course, children of light who have set their faces against all this, although even a newspaperman, if you entice him into a cemetery at midnight, will believe in phantoms, for everyone is a visionary, if you scratch him deep enough. But the Celt, unlike any other, is a visionary without scratching.

The land of fairy, where nobody gets old and godly and grave, where nobody gets old and crafty and wise, where nobody gets old and bitter of tongue.

The rose of the world.

The whole summer will praise choruses earth.

Then nowise worship dusty deeds.

They say such different things at school.

Though you are in your shining days, voices among the crowd and new friends busy with your praise, be not unkind or proud, but think about old friends the most: time's bitter flood will rise, your beauty perish and be lost for all eyes but these eyes.

To passing bird, but I am dumb.

Under the fruit of evil and of good.

We are happy when for everything inside us there is a corresponding something outside us.

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William Butler
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Irish Poet, Playwright