Quotations by Yeats, William Butler


Too long a sacrifice
Can make a stone of the heart.
O when may it suffice?

William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) Irish poet and dramatist
“Easter 1916,” st. 4, ll. 57-59, Michael Robartes and the Dancer (1921)
    (Source)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 2-Nov-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Yeats, William Butler

The innocent and the beautiful
Have no enemy but time.

William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) Irish poet and dramatist
“In Memory of Eva Gore-Booth and Con Markiewicz” (1927)
    (Source)
Added on 10-Mar-21 | Last updated 10-Mar-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Yeats, William Butler

The intellect of man is forced to choose
Perfection of the life or of the work.

William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) Irish poet and dramatist
“The Choice” (1933)
    (Source)
Added on 25-Jan-21 | Last updated 25-Jan-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Yeats, William Butler

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,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) Irish poet and dramatist
“The Second Coming,” l.1-8 (1920)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 2-Nov-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Yeats, William Butler

Things said or done long years ago,
Or things I did not do or say
But thought that I might say or do,
Weigh me down, and not a day
But something is recalled,
My conscience or my vanity appalled.

William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) Irish poet and dramatist
“Vacillation,” st. 4 (1932), The Winding Stair and Other Poems (1933)
    (Source)
Added on 28-Sep-15 | Last updated 2-Nov-20
Link to this post | 1 comment
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Yeats, William Butler

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

William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) Irish poet and dramatist
“The Municipal Gallery Revisited,” l.54–55 (1938)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Yeats, William Butler

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.

William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) Irish poet and dramatist
(Attributed)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Yeats, William Butler

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

William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) Irish poet and dramatist
(Attributed)
Added on 12-Jul-13 | Last updated 12-Jul-13
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Yeats, William Butler

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.

Yeats - believe the best - wist_info quote

William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) Irish poet and dramatist
Deirdre (1907)
Added on 30-Dec-15 | Last updated 30-Dec-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Yeats, William Butler

The pain others give passes away in their later kindness, but that of our own blunders, especially when they hurt our vanity, never passes away.

William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) Irish poet and dramatist
Journal entry #105 (18 Mar 1909)
    (Source)

See also "Vacillation."
Added on 2-Nov-20 | Last updated 2-Nov-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Yeats, William Butler

I hate journalists. There is nothing in them but tittering jeering emptiness. They have all made what Dante calls the Great Refusal, — that is they have ceased to be self-centered, have given up their individuality…. The shallowest people on the ridge of the earth.

William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) Irish poet and dramatist
Letter to Katharine Tynan (30 Aug 1888)
Added on 1-Sep-07 | Last updated 1-Sep-07
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Yeats, William Butler