William Butler Yeats

William Butler

Irish Poet, Playwright

Author Quotes

That dolphin-torn, that gong-tormented sea.

That would not lift a hand maybe.

The day you go to heaven that you may never come back again alive out of it! But it is not yourself will never hear the saints hammering at their music! It is you will be moving through the ages chains upon you, and you in the form of a dog or a monster! I tell you, that one will go through purgatory as quick as lightning through a thorn bush. It is very queer the world itself is, whatever shape was put upon it at the first!

The love I lived, the dream I knew.

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. When I had laid it on the floor I went to blow the fire a-flame, but something rustled on the floor, and someone called me by my name: it had become a glimmering girl with apple blossom in her hair who called me by my name and ran and faded through the brightening air. Though I am old with wandering through hollow lands and hilly lands, I will find out where she has gone, and kiss her lips and take her hands; and walk among long dappled grass, and pluck till time and times are done, the silver apples of the moon, the golden apples of the sun.

The work is done,' grown old he thought.

There are no strangers, only friends you have not met yet.

Think where man's glory most begins and ends and say my glory was that I had such friends.

Till my own words, re-echoing, shall send.

To the cracked tune that Chronos sings.

Until my thoughts cleared up again.

We cannot doubt that barbaric people receive such influences more visibly and obviously, and in all likelihood more easily and fully than we do, for our life in cities, which deafens or kills the passive meditative life, and our education that enlarges the separated, self-moving mind, have made our souls less sensitive.

What can books of men that wive?

Whatever flames upon the night Man's own resinous heart has fed.

Where are now the warring kings?

Who called me by my name and ran?

Wind shrieked -- and where are they?

Words alone are certain good.

Your mother Eire is always young.

Speech after long silence; it is right, all other lovers being estranged or dead, unfriendly lamplight hid under its shade, the curtains drawn upon unfriendly night, that we descant and yet again descant upon the supreme theme of art and song: bodily decrepitude is wisdom; young we loved each other and were ignorant.

That fancied goodness might be gay.

That you call in birds, in wind on the hill.

The desire that is satisfied is not a great desire, nor has the shoulder used all its might that an unbreakable gate has never strained.

The Mask "Put off that mask of burning gold with emerald eyes." "O no, my dear, you make so bold to find if hearts be wild and wise, And yet not cold." "I would but find what's there to find, Love or deceit." "It was the mask engaged your mind, and after set your heart to beat, Not what's behind." "But lest you are my enemy, I must enquire." "O no, my dear, let all that be, what matter, so there is but fire In you, in me?"

The soul of man is of the imperishable substance of the stars!

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William Butler
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Irish Poet, Playwright