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William Butler Yeats quotes page 1

1865 - 1939, Irish poet

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

Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people.
William Butler Yeats

There are no strangers, only friends you have not met yet.
William Butler Yeats

We are happy when for everything inside us there is a corresponding something outside us.
William Butler Yeats

The worst thing about some men is that when they are not drunk they are sober.
William Butler Yeats

We can make our minds so like still water that beings gather about us that they may see, it
may be, their own images, and so live for a moment with a clearer, perhaps even with a
fiercer life because of our quiet.
William Butler Yeats

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 sigh.
William Butler Yeats

I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.
William Butler Yeats

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

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

Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking.
William Butler Yeats

The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.
William Butler Yeats

Man is in love and loves what vanishes, what more is there to say?
William Butler Yeats

One should say before sleeping: I have lived many lives. I have been a slave and a prince.
Many a beloved has sat upon my knee and I have sat upon the knees of many a beloved.
Everything that has been shall be again.
William Butler Yeats

The mystical life is at the centre of all that I do and all that I think and all that I write.
William Butler Yeats

All women dote upon an idle man
Although their children need a rich estate.
No man has ever lived that had enough
Of children’s gratitude or woman's love.
William Butler Yeats

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

It's not a writer's business to hold opinions.
William Butler Yeats

Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands.
William Butler Yeats

I have found nothing half so good
As my long-planned half solitude,
Where I can sit up half the night
With some friend that has the wit
Not to allow his looks to tell
When I am unintelligible.
William Butler Yeats

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

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

In dreams begin responsibilities.
William Butler Yeats

Man can embody truth but he cannot know it.
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

This country will not always be an uncomfortable place for a country gentleman to live in,
and it is most important that we should keep in this country a certain leisured class. I am
afraid that Labour disagrees with me in that. On this matter I am a crusted Tory. I am of the
opinion of the ancient Jewish book which says, "there is no wisdom without leisure."
William Butler Yeats

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