Remorse For Intemperate Speech by William Butler Yeats

I ranted to the knave and fool, But outgrew that school, Would transform the part, Fit audience found, but cannot rule My fanatic heart. I sought my betters: though in each Fine manners, liberal speech, Turn hatred into sport, Nothing said or done can reach My fanatic heart. Out of Ireland have we come. Great […]

Red Hanrahan’s Song About Ireland by William Butler Yeats

The old brown thorn-trees break in two high over Cummen Strand, Under a bitter black wind that blows from the left hand; Our courage breaks like an old tree in a black wind and dies, But we have hidden in our hearts the flame out of the eyes Of Cathleen, the daughter of Houlihan. The […]

Reconciliation by William Butler Yeats

Some may have blamed you that you took away The verses that could move them on the day When, the ears being deafened, the sight of the eyes blind With lightning, you went from me, and I could find Nothing to make a song about but kings, Helmets, and swords, and half-forgotten things That were […]

Quarrel In Old Age by William Butler Yeats

I met the Bishop on the road And much said he and I. ‘Those breasts are flat and fallen now, Those veins must soon be dry; Live in a heavenly mansion, Not in some foul sty.’ ‘Fair and foul are near of kin, And fair needs foul,’ I cried. ‘My friends are gone, but that’s […]

Presences by William Butler Yeats

This night has been so strange that it seemed As if the hair stood up on my head. From going-down of the sun I have dreamed That women laughing, or timid or wild, In rustle of lace or silken stuff, Climbed up my creaking stair. They had read All I had rhymed of that monstrous […]

Politics by William Butler Yeats

‘In our time the destiny of man prevents its meanings in political terms.’ — Thomas Mann. How can I, that girl standing there, My attention fix On Roman or on Russian Or on Spanish politics? Yet here’s a travelled man that knows What he talks about, And there’s a politician That has read and thought, […]

Peace by William Butler Yeats

Ah, that Time could touch a form That could show what Homer’s age Bred to be a hero’s wage. ‘Were not all her life but storm Would not painters paint a form Of such noble lines,’ I said, ‘Such a delicate high head, All that sternness amid charm, All that sweetness amid strength?’ Ah, but […]

Paudeen by William Butler Yeats

Indignant at the fumbling wits, the obscure spite Of our old paudeen in his shop, I stumbled blind Among the stones and thorn-trees, under morning light; Until a curlew cried and in the luminous wind A curlew answered; and suddenly thereupon I thought That on the lonely height where all are in God’s eye, There […]

Parting by William Butler Yeats

He. Dear, I must be gone While night Shuts the eyes Of the household spies; That song announces dawn. She. No, night’s bird and love’s Bids all true lovers rest, While his loud song reproves The murderous stealth of day. He. Daylight already flies From mountain crest to crest She. That light is from the […]

Parnell’s Funeral by William Butler Yeats

I Under the Great Comedian’s tomb the crowd. A bundle of tempestuous cloud is blown About the sky; where that is clear of cloud Brightness remains; a brighter star shoots down; What shudders run through all that animal blood? What is this sacrifice? Can someone there Recall the Cretan barb that pierced a star? Rich […]

Parnell by William Butler Yeats

Parnell came down the road, he said to a cheering man: ‘Ireland shall get her freedom and you still break stone.’ ————— The End And that’s the End of the Poem © Poetry Monster, 2021. Poems by topic and subject. Poetry Monster — the ultimate repository of world poetry. Poetry Monster — the multilingual library of […]

Owen Aherne And His Dancers by William Butler Yeats

I A strange thing surely that my Heart, when love had come unsought Upon the Norman upland or in that poplar shade, Should find no burden but itself and yet should be worn out. It could not bear that burden and therefore it went mad. The south wind brought it longing, and the east wind […]

On Woman by William Butler Yeats

May God be praised for woman That gives up all her mind, A man may find in no man A friendship of her kind That covers all he has brought As with her flesh and bone, Nor quarrels with a thought Because it is not her own. Though pedantry denies, It’s plain the Bible means […]

On Being Asked For A War Poem by William Butler Yeats

I think it better that in times like these A poet’s mouth be silent, for in truth We have no gift to set a statesman right; He has had enough of medding who can please A young girl in the indolence of her youth, Or an old man upon a winter’s night. ————— The End […]

On A Political Prisoner by William Butler Yeats

She that but little patience knew, From childhood on, had now so much A grey gull lost its fear and flew Down to her cell and there alit, And there endured her fingers’ touch And from her fingers ate its bit. Did she in touching that lone wing Recall the years before her mind Became […]

On A Picture Of A Black Centaur By Edmund Dulac by William Butler Yeats

Your hooves have stamped at the black margin of the wood, Even where horrible green parrots call and swing. My works are all stamped down into the sultry mud. I knew that horse-play, knew it for a murderous thing. What wholesome sun has ripened is wholesome food to eat, And that alone; yet I, being […]

Old Tom Again by William Butler Yeats

Things out of perfection sail, And all their swelling canvas wear, Nor shall the self-begotten fail Though fantastic men suppose Building-yard and stormy shore, Winding-sheet and swaddling; clothes. ————— The End And that’s the End of the Poem © Poetry Monster, 2021. Poems by topic and subject. Poetry Monster — the ultimate repository of world poetry. […]

Old Memory by William Butler Yeats

O thought, fly to her when the end of day Awakens an old memory, and say, ‘Your strength, that is so lofty and fierce and kind, It might call up a new age, calling to mind The queens that were imagined long ago, Is but half yours: he kneaded in the dough Through the long […]

Oil And Blood by William Butler Yeats

In tombs of gold and lapis lazuli Bodies of holy men and women exude Miraculous oil, odour of violet. But under heavy loads of trampled clay Lie bodies of the vampires full of blood; Their shrouds are bloody and their lips are wet. ————— The End And that’s the End of the Poem © Poetry Monster, […]

O Do Not Love Too Long by William Butler Yeats

Sweetheart, do not love too long: I loved long and long, And grew to be out of fashion Like an old song. All through the years of our youth Neither could have known Their own thought from the other’s, We were so much at one. But O, in a minute she changed – O do […]

Nineteen Hundred And Nineteen by William Butler Yeats

I Many ingenious lovely things are gone That seemed sheer miracle to the multitude, protected from the circle of the moon That pitches common things about. There stood Amid the ornamental bronze and stone An ancient image made of olive wood – And gone are phidias’ famous ivories And all the golden grasshoppers and bees. […]

News For The Delphic Oracle by William Butler Yeats

I There all the golden codgers lay, There the silver dew, And the great water sighed for love, And the wind sighed too. Man-picker Niamh leant and sighed By Oisin on the grass; There sighed amid his choir of love Tall pythagoras. plotinus came and looked about, The salt-flakes on his breast, And having stretched […]

Never Give All The Heart by William Butler Yeats

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 […]

Mohini Chatterjee by William Butler Yeats

I asked if I should pray. But the Brahmin said, ‘pray for nothing, say Every night in bed, ‘I have been a king, I have been a slave, Nor is there anything. Fool, rascal, knave, That I have not been, And yet upon my breast A myriad heads have lain.’ That he might Set at […]

Model For The Laureate by William Butler Yeats

On thrones from China to Peru All sorts of kings have sat That men and women of all sorts proclaimed both good and great; And what’s the odds if such as these For reason of the State Should keep their lovers waiting, Keep their lovers waiting? Some boast of beggar-kings and kings Of rascals black […]

Michael Robartes And The Dancer by William Butler Yeats

He. Opinion is not worth a rush; In this altar-piece the knight, Who grips his long spear so to push That dragon through the fading light, Loved the lady; and it’s plain The half-dead dragon was her thought, That every morning rose again And dug its claws and shrieked and fought. Could the impossible come […]

Men Improve With The Years by William Butler Yeats

I am worn out with dreams; A weather-worn, marble triton Among the streams; And all day long I look Upon this lady’s beauty As though I had found in a book A pictured beauty, pleased to have filled the eyes Or the discerning ears, Delighted to be but wise, For men improve with the years; […]

Memory by William Butler Yeats

One had a lovely face, And two or three had charm, But charm and face were in vain Because the mountain grass Cannot but keep the form Where the mountain hare has lain. ————— The End And that’s the End of the Poem © Poetry Monster, 2021. Poems by topic and subject. Poetry Monster — the […]

Meeting by William Butler Yeats

Hidden by old age a while In masker’s cloak and hood, Each hating what the other loved, Face to face we stood: ‘That I have met with such,’ said he, ‘Bodes me little good.’ ‘Let others boast their fill,’ said I, ‘But never dare to boast That such as I had such a man For […]

Meditations In Time Of Civil War by William Butler Yeats

I. Ancestral Houses Surely among a rich man’s flowering lawns, Amid the rustle of his planted hills, Life overflows without ambitious pains; And rains down life until the basin spills, And mounts more dizzy high the more it rains As though to choose whatever shape it wills And never stoop to a mechanical Or servile […]

Byzantium by William Butler Yeats

The unpurged images of day recede; The Emperor’s drunken soldiery are abed; Night resonance recedes, night walkers’ song After great cathedral gong; A starlit or a moonlit dome disdains All that man is, All mere complexities, The fury and the mire of human veins. Before me floats an image, man or shade, Shade more than […]

Blood And The Moon by William Butler Yeats

I Blessed be this place, More blessed still this tower; A bloody, arrogant power Rose out of the race Uttering, mastering it, Rose like these walls from these Storm-beaten cottages – In mockery I have set A powerful emblem up, And sing it rhyme upon rhyme In mockery of a time Half dead at the […]

Before The World Was Made by William Butler Yeats

If I make the lashes dark And the eyes more bright And the lips more scarlet, Or ask if all be right From mirror after mirror, No vanity’s displayed: I’m looking for the face I had Before the world was made. What if I look upon a man As though on my beloved, And my […]

Beautiful Lofty Things by William Butler Yeats

Beautiful lofty things: O’Leary’s noble head; My father upon the Abbey stage, before him a raging crowd: ‘This Land of Saints,’ and then as the applause died out, ‘Of plaster Saints’; his beautiful mischievous head thrown back. Standish O’Grady supporting himself between the tables Speaking to a drunken audience high nonsensical words; Augusta Gregory seated […]

Baile And Aillinn by William Butler Yeats

ARGUMENT. Baile and Aillinn were lovers, but Aengus, the Master of Love, wishing them to he happy in his own land among the dead, told to each a story of the other’s death, so that their hearts were broken and they died. I hardly hear the curlew cry, Nor thegrey rush when the wind is […]

At The Abbey Theatre by William Butler Yeats

(Imitated from Ronsard) Dear Craoibhin Aoibhin, look into our case. When we are high and airy hundreds say That if we hold that flight they’ll leave the place, While those same hundreds mock another day Because we have made our art of common things, So bitterly, you’d dream they longed to look All their lives […]

At Galway Races by William Butler Yeats

There where the course is, Delight makes all of the one mind, The riders upon the galloping horses, The crowd that closes in behind: We, too, had good attendance once, Hearers and hearteners of the work; Aye, horsemen for companions, Before the merchant and the clerk Breathed on the world with timid breath. Sing on: […]

At Algeciras; A Meditaton Upon Death by William Butler Yeats

The heron-billed pale cattle-birds That feed on some foul parasite Of the Moroccan flocks and herds Cross the narrow Straits to light In the rich midnight of the garden trees Till the dawn break upon those mingled seas. Often at evening when a boy Would I carry to a friend – Hoping more substantial joy […]

Are You Content? by William Butler Yeats

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? Eyes spiritualised by death can judge, I cannot, but I am not content. He that in Sligo at Drumcliff […]