Well, to see rightly is the whole of wisdom, whatever dream be with us.
The innocent and the beautiful have no enemy but time.
Out of Ireland have we come, great hatred, little room, maimed us at the start. I carry from my mother's womb a fanatic heart.
Too long a sacrifice can make a stone of the heart. O when may it suffice?
An intellectual hatred is the worst, So let her think opinions are accursed. Have I not seen the loveliest woman born Out of the mouth of Plenty's horn, Because of her opinionated mind Barter that horn and every good By quiet natures understood For an old bellows full of angry wind.
Does the imagination dwell the most Upon a woman won or a woman lost.
Locke sank into a swoon The Garden died God took the spinning-jenny Out of his side.
I sigh that kiss you,For I must ownThat I shall miss youWhen you have grown.
Farewell -- farewell,For I am weary of the weight of time.
Others because you did not keepThat deep-sworn vow have been friends of mineYet always when I look death in the face,When I clamber to the heights of sleep,Or when I grow excited with wine,Suddenly I meet your face.
A mermaid found a swimming lad,Picked him for her own,Pressed her body to his body,Laughed and plunging downForgot in cruel happinessThat even lovers drown.
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.
That dolphin-torn, that gong-tormented sea.
That toil of growing up The ignominy of boyhood the distress Of boyhood changing into man The unfinished man and his pain.
Evil comes to all us men of imagination wearing as its mask all the virtues.
For to articulate sweet sounds together Is to work harder than all these, and yet Be thought an idler by the noisy set Of bankers, schoolmasters, and clergymen The martyrs call the world.
No man has ever lived that had enough Of children's gratitude or woman's love.
Speech after long silence it is right, All other lovers being estranged or dead ... 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.
If soul my look and body touch, Which is the more blest.
People who lean on logic and philosophy and rational exposition end by starving the best part of the mind.
Style, personality -- deliberately adopted and therefore a mask -- is the only escape from the hot-faced bargainers and money-changers.
If suffering brings wisdom, I would wish to be less wise.
Come away, O human child: To the waters and the wild with a fairy, hand in hand, For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.
The brawling of a sparrow in the eaves The brilliant moon and all the milky sky And all that famous harmony of leaves Had blotted out man's image and his cry.
I had still the ambition, formed in Sligo in my teens, of living in imitation of Thoreau on Innisfree, a little island in Lough Gill, and when walking through Fleet Street very homesick I heard a little tinkle of water and saw a fountain in a shop window which balanced a little ball upon its jet, and began to remember lake water. From the sudden remembrance came my poem Innisfree.
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born.
I hear the wind a blowI hear the grass a grow,And all that I know, I know.But I will not speak, I will run away.
Once you attempt legislation upon religious grounds, you open the way for every kind of intolerance and religious persecution.
Where, where but here have Pride and Truth,That long to give themselves for wage,To shake their wicked sides at youthRestraining reckless middle age
Joy is of the will which labours, which overcomes obstacles, which knows triumph.
Man can embody truth but he cannot know it.
Some burn damp faggots, others may consume The entire combustible world in one small room.
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.
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.
Did that play of mine send outCertain men the English shot
I have believed the best of every man. And find that to believe is enough to make a bad man show him at his best, or even a good man swings his lantern higher.
I am of a healthy long lived race, and our minds improve with age.
Things said or done long years ago Or things I did not do or say But thought that I might say or do, Weigh me down, and not a day But something is recalled, My conscience or my vanity appalled.
Out of our quarrels with others we make rhetoric. Out of our quarrels with ourselves we make poetry.
I carry the sun in a golden cup, The moon in a silver bag.
Down the mountain walls From where Pan's cavern is Intolerable music falls. Foul goat-head, brutal arm appear, Belly, shoulder, bum, Flash fishlike nymphs and satyrs Copulate in the foam.
Under bare Ben Bulben's head In Drumcliff churchyard Yeats is laid.
All changed, changed utterly; A terrible beauty is born.
He that sings a lasting song Thinks in a marrowbone.
But where's the wild dog that has praised his fleas
I call on those that call me son,Grandson, or great-grandson,On uncles, aunts, great-uncles or great-aunts,To judge what I have done.Have I, that put it into words,Spoilt what old loins have sent
Cast your mind on other days that we in coming days may be still the indomitable Irishry.
But was there ever dog that praised his fleas?
Oh, who could have foretoldThat the heart grows old
My temptation is quiet. Here at life's end Neither loose imagination Nor the mill of the mind Consuming its rag and bone, Can make the truth known.
More William Butler Yeats Quotations (Based on Topics)
Mind - Man - Love - World - Wisdom & Knowledge - Life - Dreams - Literature - Truth - Friendship - People - Death & Dying - Art - Education - Fire - Hatred - Soul - Beauty - Poets - View All William Butler Yeats Quotations
William Blake - Rabindranath Tagore - Dante Alighieri - William Somerville - Thomas Moore - Samuel Taylor Coleridge - Omar Khayyam - Lucretius - Edmund Spenser - Andrew Lang