William Butler Yeats Quotes (283 Quotes)




    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.


    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.



    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.


    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 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.


    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.


    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.


    More William Butler Yeats Quotations (Based on Topics)


    Mind - Man - Love - World - Wisdom & Knowledge - Life - Dreams - Truth - Literature - Friendship - Death & Dying - People - Soul - Education - Fire - Hatred - Beauty - Art - Poetry - View All William Butler Yeats Quotations

    Related Authors


    Lord Byron - Horace - e. e. cummings - Dante Alighieri - Robert Service - Robert Browning - Hesiod - Edgar Guest - Dylan Thomas - Andrew Lang


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