Irish Poet, Playwright
William Butler Yeats
Irish Poet, Playwright
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!
The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.
There are some doubters even in the western villages. One woman told me last Christmas that she did not believe either in hell or in ghosts. Hell she thought was merely an invention got up by the priest to keep people good; and ghosts would not be permitted, she held, to go 'trapsin about the earth' at their own free will; 'but there are faeries,' she added, 'and little leprechauns, and water-horses, and fallen angels.' I have met also a man with a Mohawk Indian tattooed upon his arm, who held exactly similar beliefs and unbeliefs. No matter what one doubts one never doubts the faeries, for, as the man with the Mohawk Indian on his arm said to me, 'they stand to reason.' Even the official mind does not escape this faith. (Reason and Unreason)
Thinks in a marrow-bone.
Till they come where your sad, sad .
To the waters, and the wild, with a Faerie, hand in hand, for the world is more full of weeping . . . than you can understand.
Unwearied still, lover by lover, they paddle in the cold Companionable streams or climb the air; Their hearts have not grown old.
We had fed the heart on fantasies, the heart's grown brutal from the fare, more substance in our enmities than in our love.
What do we know but that we face one another in this place?
What's the use of held note or a held line?
Where daffodil and lily wave.
Who can distinguish darkness from the soul?
Wine comes in at the mouth and love comes in at the eye; that's all we shall know for truth before we grow old and die. I lift the glass to my mouth, I look at you, and sigh.
Words are always getting conventionalized to some secondary meaning. It is one of the works of poetry to take the truants in custody and bring them back to their right senses.
Stared on the horses of the sea, and heard.
That had she done so who can say.
That you have come and dared me to my face?
The dooms of men are in Gods hidden place.
The monstrous crying of wind?
The Stolen Child - Where dips the rocky highland of Sleuth Wood in the lake, there lies a leafy island where flapping herons wake the drowsy water rats; there we've hid our faery vats, full of berrys and of reddest stolen cherries. Come away, O human child! To the waters and the wild with a faery, hand in hand, for the world's more full of weeping than you can understand. Where the wave of moonlight glosses the dim gray sands with light, far off by furthest Rosses we foot it all the night, weaving olden dances, mingling hands and mingling glances till the moon has taken flight; to and fro we leap and chase the frothy bubbles, while the world is full of troubles and anxious in its sleep. Come away, O human child! To the waters and the wild with a faery, hand in hand, for the world's more full of weeping than you can understand. Where the wandering water gushes from the hills above Glen-Car, in pools among the rushes that scarce could bathe a star, we seek for slumbering trout and whispering in their ears give them unquiet dreams; leaning softly out from ferns that drop their tears over the young streams. Come away, O human child! To the waters and the wild with a faery, hand in hand, for the world's more full of weeping than you can understand. Away with us he's going, the solemn-eyed: he'll hear no more the lowing of the calves on the warm hillside or the kettle on the hob sing peace into his breast, or see the brown mice bob round and round the oatmeal chest. For he comes, the human child, to the waters and the wild with a faery, hand in hand, for the world's more full of weeping than he can understand.
The worst thing about some men is that when they are not drunk they are sober.
There is another world, but it is in this one.
This country will not always be an uncomfortable place for a country gentleman to live in, and it is most important that we should keep in this country a certain leisured class. I am afraid that Labor disagrees with me in that. On this matter I am a crusted Tory. I am of the opinion of the ancient Jewish book which says "there is no wisdom without leisure."