William Butler Yeats

William Butler Yeats (13 June 1865 28 January 1939-01-28) was an Irish poet, dramatist and mystic. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1923. He compiled the Oxford Book of Modern Verse.
Found 320 thoughts of William Butler Yeats

A pity beyond all telling is hid in the heart of love.

William Butler Yeats

Education is not filling a bucket, but lighting a fire.

William Butler Yeats

Man can embody truth but he cannot know it. The intellect of man is forced to choose perfection of the life, or of the work, and if it take the second must refuse a heavenly mansion, raging in the dark.

William Butler Yeats

Life moves out of a red flare of dreams into a common light of common hours, until old age bring the red flare again.

William Butler Yeats

The problem with some people is that when they aren't drunk, they're sober.

William Butler Yeats

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.

William Butler Yeats

I have believed the best of every man. And find that to believe it is enough to make a bad man show him at his best, or even a good man swing his lantern higher.

William Butler Yeats

An aged man is but a paltry thing, a tattered coat upon a stick.

William Butler Yeats

I balanced all, brought all to mind, the years to come seemed waste of breath, a waste of breath the years behind, in balance with this life, this death.

William Butler Yeats

Joy is of the will which labours, which overcomes obstacles, which knows triumph.

William Butler Yeats

The land of fairy, where nobody gets old and godly and grave, where nobody gets old and crafty and wise, where nobody gets old and bitter of tongue.

William Butler Yeats

Where beauty has no ebb, decay no flood, But joy is wisdom, time an endless song.

William Butler Yeats

But I, being poor, have only my dreams. I have spread my dreams under your feet; tread softly, because you tread on my dreams.

William Butler Yeats

I hate journalists. There is nothing in them but tittering jeering emptiness. They have all made what Dante calls the Great Refusal. . . . The shallowest people on the ridge of the earth.

William Butler Yeats

I carry from my mother's womb a fanatic's heart.

William Butler Yeats

When you are old and gray and full of sleep, and nodding by the fire, take down this book and slowly read, and dream of the soft look your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep.

William Butler Yeats

Civilization is hoped together, brought under a rule, under the semblance of peace by manifold illusion, but Man's life is thought, and he, despite his terror, cannot cease, ravening through century after century ravening, raging and uprooting, that he may come into the desolation of reality.

William Butler Yeats

I am of a healthy long lived race, and our minds improve with age.

William Butler Yeats

Those that I fight I do not hate, those that I guard I do not love.

William Butler Yeats

The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.

William Butler Yeats

I wonder anybody does anything at Oxford but dream and remember, the place is so beautiful. One almost expects the people to sing instead of speaking. It is all . . . like an opera.

William Butler Yeats

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

Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that but simply growth. We are happy when we are growing.

William Butler Yeats

The only business of the head in the world is to bow a ceaseless obeisance to the heart.

William Butler Yeats

Now as at all times I can see in the mind's eye, In their stiff, painted clothes, the pale unsatisfied ones Appear and disappear in the blue depth of the sky With all their ancient faces like rain-beaten stones, And all their helms of silver hovering side by side, And all their eyes still fixed, hoping to find once more, Being by Calvary's turbulence unsatisfied, The uncontrollable mystery on the bestial floor.

William Butler Yeats
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