William Butler Yeats

William Butler

Irish Poet, Playwright

Author Quotes

Under the fruit of evil and of good.

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

Weary and kind one lingered by His seat.

'What then.?' sang Plato's ghost. 'What then?'

When we bent down above the fading coals.

While still I may, I write for you.

Why should I blame her that she filled my days.

With misery, or that she would of late

Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep.

That cannot be assailed for reassurance?

That toil of growing up; the ignominy of boyhood; the distress of boyhood changing into man; the unfinished man and his pain.

The creations of a great writer are little more than the moods and passions of his own heart, given surnames and Christian names, and sent to walk the earth.

The line of Nature is crooked... though we dig the canal beds as straight as we can, the rivers run hither and thither in their wildness.

The salmon?falls, the mackerel?crowded seas.

The woods of Arcady are dead, and over is their antique joy; of old the world on dreaming fed; Grey Truth is now her painted toy; yet still she turns her restless head.

Then the woman in the bed sat up and looked about her with wild eyes; and the oldest of the old men said: 'Lady, we have come to write down the names of the immortals,? and at his words a look of great joy came into her face. Presently she, began to speak slowly, and yet eagerly, as though she knew she had but a little while to live, and, in English, with the accent of their own country; and she told them the secret names of the immortals of many lands, and of the colors, and odors, and weapons, and instruments of music and instruments of handicraft they held dearest; but most about the immortals of Ireland and of their love for the cauldron, and the whetstone, and the sword, and the spear, and the hills of the Shee, and the horns of the moon, and the Grey Wind, and the Yellow Wind, and the Black Wind, and the Red Wind.

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, the blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is lost the best lack all conviction, while the worst are filled with passionate intensity.

Through the hollow of an ear.

To sit beside the board and drink good wine and watch the turf smoke coiling from the fire and feel content and wisdom in your heart, this is the best of life; when we are young we long to tread a way none trod before, but find the excellent old way through love and through the care of children to the hour forbidding Fate and Time and Change goodbye.

Under the passing stars, foam of the sky.

We can make our minds so like still water that beings gather about us that they may see, it may be, their own images, and so live for a moment with a clearer, perhaps even with a fiercer life because of our quiet.

Weaving olden dances; mingling hands and mingling glances.

What were all the world?s alarms to mighty Paris when he found sleep upon a golden bed that first dawn in Helen?s arms?

When you are old and gray and full of sleep, and nodding by the fire, take down this book, and slowly read, and dream of the soft look your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep; how many loved your moments of glad grace, and loved your beauty with love false or true, but one man loved the pilgrim soul in you, and loved the sorrows of your changing face. And bending down beside the glowing bars, murmur, a little sadly, how love fled and paced upon the mountains overhead and hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

Whirls in the old instead.

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William Butler
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Irish Poet, Playwright