Now I know That twenty centuries of stony sleep Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle, And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
William Butler Yeats (1865 - 1939)
Source: Michael Robartes and the Dancer , 1921.
Contributed by: Zaady
O chestnut tree, great rooted blossomer, Are you the leaf, the blossom or the bole? O body swayed to music, O brightening glance, How can we know the dancer from the dance.
Source: Among School Children
Somewhere beyond the curtain Of distorting days Lives that lonely thing That shone before these eyes Targeted, trod like Spring.
Source: The Winding Stair and Other Poems, 1933;. Quarrel in Old Age
We poets would die of loneliness but for women, and we choose our men friends that we may have somebody to talk about women with. Letter to Olivia Shakespeare, 1936
Source: The Letters of W. B. Yeats Letter to Olivia Shakespeare, 1936
Words alone are certain good.
Source: Crossways, 1889, The Song of the Happy Shepherd
Be secret and exult, Because of all things known That is most difficult.
Source: Responsibilities. To a Friend Whose Work Has Come to Nothing
Under bare Ben Bulben's head In Drumcliff churchyard Yeats is laid.
Source: Last Poems, 1936–1939, Under Ben Bulben
see T. S. Eliot, 'Yeats the Poet' and W. H. Auden, 'Yeats the Poet'
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. The years like great black oxen tread the world And God the herdsman goads them on behind And I am broken by their passing feet.
Source: The Countess Cathleen, 1892, last lines
Only God, my dear, Could love you for yourself alone And not your yellow hair.
Source: The Winding Stair and Other Poems, 1933;. For Anne Gregory
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