William Butler Yeats Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 237 quotes)
CUCHULAI?S FIGHT WITH THE SEAA MAN came slowly from the setting sun,To Emer, raddling raiment in her dun,And said,?I am that swineherd whom you bidGo watch the road between the wood and tide,But now I have no need to watch it more?Then Emer cast the web upon the floor,And raising arms all raddled with the dye,Parted her lips with a loud sudden cry.That swineherd stared upon her face and said,
ROSE of all Roses, Rose of all the World! The tall thought-woven sails, that flap unfurled Above the tide of hours, trouble the air, And Go?s bell buoyed to be the wate?s care; While hushed from fear, or loud with hope, a band With blown, spray-dabbled hair gather at hand. Turn if you may from battles never done, I call, as they go by me one by one, Danger no refuge holds, and war no peace, For him who hears love sing and never cease, Beside her clean-swept hearth, her quiet shade: But gather all for whom no love hath made A woven silence, or but came to cast A song into the air, and singing past To smile on the pale dawn; and gather you Who have sought more than is in rain or dew Or in the sun and moon, or on the earth, Or sighs amid the wandering starry mirth, Or comes in laughter from the se?s sad lips; And wage Go?s battles in the long grey ships. The sad, the lonely, the insatiable, To these Old Night shall all her mystery tell; Go?s bell has claimed them by the little cry Of their sad hearts, that may not live nor die. Rose of all Roses, Rose of all the World! You, too, have come where the dim tides are hurled Upon the wharves of sorrow, and heard ring The bell that calls us on; the sweet far thing. Beauty grown sad with its eternity Made you of us, and of the dim grey sea. Our long ships loose thought-woven sails and wait, For God has bid them share an equal fate; And when at last defeated in His wars, They have gone down under the same white stars, We shall no longer hear the little cry Of our sad hearts, that may not live nor die.The Sweet Far Thing
THAT crazed girl improvising her music. Her poetry, dancing upon the shore, Her soul in division from itself. Climbing, falling She knew not where, Hiding amid the cargo of a steamship, Her knee-cap broken, that girl I declare. A beautiful lofty thing, or a thing. Heroically lost, heroically found. No matter what disaster occurred. She stood in desperate music wound, Wound, wound, and she made in her triumph. Where the bales and the baskets lay. No common intelligible sound. But sang, 'O sea-starved, hungry sea
Now days are dragon-ridden, the nightmare Rides upon sleep: a drunken soldiery Can leave the mother, murdered at her door, To crawl in her own blood, and go scott-free; The night can sweat with terror as before. We pieced our thoughts into philosophy, And planned to bring the world under rule, Who are but weasels fighting in a hole.
I was dancing with an immortal august woman, who had black lilies in her hair, and her dreamy gesture seemed laden with a wisdom more profound than the darkness that is between star and star, and with a love like the love that breathed upon the waters; and as we danced on and on, the incense drifted over us and round us, covering us away as in the heart of the world, and ages seemed to pass, and tempests to awake and perish in the folds of our robes and in her heavy hair. Suddenly I remembered that her eyelids had never quivered, and that her lilies had not dropped a black petal, or shaken from their places, and understood with a great horror that I danced with one who was more or less than human, and who was drinking up my soul as an ox drinks up a wayside pool; and I fell, and darkness passed over me.
The things a man has heard and seen are threads of life, and if he pull them carefully from the confused distaff of memory, any who will can weave them into whatever garments of belief please them best. I too have woven my garment like another, but I shall try to keep warm in it, and shall be well content if it do not unbecome me.
I have desired, like every artist, to create a little world out of the beautiful, pleasant, and significant things of this marred and clumsy world, and to show in a vision something of the face of Ireland to any of my own people who would look where I bid them. I have thereforewritten down accurately and candidly much that I have heard and seen, and, except by way of commentary, nothing that I have merely imagined.
Children play at being great and wonderful people, at the ambitions they will put away for one reason or another before they grow into ordinary men and women. Mankind as a whole had a like dream once; everybody and nobody built up the dream bit by bit, and the ancient story-tellers are there to make us remember what mankind would have been like, had not fear and the failing will and the laws of nature tripped up its heels. The Fianna and their like are themselves so full of power, and they are set in a world so fluctuating and dream-like, that nothing can hold them from being all that the heart desires."from a preface to. Gods and Fighting Menby Lady Augusta Gregory
Never give all the heart, for love Will hardly seem worth thinking of To passionate women if it seem Certain, and they never dream That it fades out from kiss to kiss; For everything that's lovely is But a brief, dreamy, kind delight. O Never give the heart outright, For they, for all smooth lips can say, Have given their hearts up to the play. And who could play it well enough If deaf and dumb and blind with love? He that made this knows all the cost, For he gave all his heart and lost.