WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS QUOTES

Irish poet (1865-1939)

William Butler Yeats quote

I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly, because you tread on my dreams.

WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS, "He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven"

28 likes

Tags: dreams


O love is the crooked thing,
There is nobody wise enough
To find out all that is in it,
For he would be thinking of love
Till the stars had run away
And the shadows eaten the moon.

WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS, "Brown Penny"

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It is love that I am seeking for,
But of a beautiful, unheard-of kind
That is not in the world.

WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS, The Shadowy Waters

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Tags: love


Think where man's glory most begins and ends,
And say my glory was I had such friends.

WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS, "The Municipal Gallery Re-Visited"

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Wine comes in at the mouth
And love comes in at the eye;
That's all we shall know for truth
Before we grow old and die.
I lift the glass to my mouth,
I look at you, and I sigh.

WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS, "A Drinking Song", The Green Helmet and Other Poems

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Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.

WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS, "The Second Coming"

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Tags: Apocalypse


Life seems to me a preparation for something that never happens.

WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS, Reveries over Childhood and Youth

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Tags: life


An aged man is but a paltry thing,
A tattered coat upon a stick, unless
Soul clap its hands and sing

WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS, "Sailing to Byzantium"

10 likes

Tags: old age


Only the dead can be forgiven;
But when I think of that my tongue's a stone.

WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS, "A Dialogue of Self and Soul", The Winding Stair and Other Poems

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Faeries, come take me out of this dull world,
For I would ride with you upon the wind,
Run on the top of the disheveled tide,
And dance upon the mountains like a flame.

WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS, The Land of Heart's Desire

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Tags: fairies


We must not make a false faith by hiding from our thoughts the causes of doubt, for faith is the highest achievement of the human intellect, the only gift man can make to God, and therefore it must be offered in sincerity.

WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS, "Anima Hominis", Per Amica Silentia Lunae

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Tags: faith


The poor have very few hours in which to enjoy themselves; they must take their pleasure raw; they haven't the time to cook it.

WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS, Where There Is Nothing

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Tags: poverty


We must be tender with all budding things.
Our Maker let no thought of Calvary
Trouble the morning stars in their first song.

WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS, The Land of Heart's Desire

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Tags: beginning


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?

WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS, "The Spur", Last Poems

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Tags: lust


I have often had the fancy that there is some one Myth for every man, which, if we but knew it, would make us understand all he did and thought.

WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS, Ideas of Good and Evil

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Tags: mythology


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.

WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS, The Celtic Twilight

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Tags: belief


In the great cities we see so little of the world, we drift into our minority. In the little towns and villages there are no minorities; people are not numerous enough. You must see the world there, perforce. Every man is himself a class.

WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS, The Celtic Twilight

4 likes

Tags: cities


Down by the salley gardens my love and I did meet;
She passed the salley gardens with little snow-white feet.
She bid me take love easy, as the leaves grow on the tree;
But I, being young and foolish, with her would not agree.
In a field by the river my love and I did stand,
And on my leaning shoulder she laid her snow-white hand.
She bid me take life easy, as the grass grows on the weirs;
But I was young and foolish, and now am full of tears.

WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS, "Down by the Salley Gardens", Crossways

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Tags: love


This melancholy London -- I sometimes imagine that the souls of the lost are compelled to walk through its streets perpetually. One feels them passing like a whiff of air.

WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS, letter to Katharine Tynan, Aug. 25, 1888

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Tags: London


I have observed dreams and visions very carefully, and am now certain that the imagination has some way of lighting on the truth that the reason has not, and that its commandments, delivered when the body is still and the reason silent, are the most binding we can ever know.

WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS, Ideas of Good and Evil

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Tags: dreams