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William Butler Yeats – 35 Quotes

 

35 Quotes by William Butler Yeats

 

In dreams begins responsibility.

– William Butler Yeats


Man can embody truth but he cannot know it.

– William Butler Yeats


Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

– William Butler Yeats


The innocent and the beautiful have no enemy but time.

– William Butler Yeats


If suffering brings wisdom, I would wish to be less wise.

– William Butler Yeats


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

– William Butler Yeats


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

– William Butler Yeats


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

– William Butler Yeats


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

– William Butler Yeats


I heard the old, old, men say ‘all that’s beautiful drifts away, like the waters.’

– William Butler Yeats


Nor dread nor hope attend a dying animal a man awaits his end dreading and hoping all.

– William Butler Yeats


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

– William Butler Yeats


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

– William Butler Yeats


We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, but of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry.

– William Butler Yeats


Take, if you must, this little bag of dreams, Unloose the cord, and they will wrap you round.

– William Butler Yeats


Choose your companions from the best Who draws a bucket with the rest soon topples down the hill.

– William Butler Yeats


One should not lose one’s temper unless one is certain of getting more and more angry to the end.

– William Butler Yeats


Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy, which sustained him through temporary periods of joy.

– William Butler Yeats


The light of lights looks always on the motive, not the deed, the shadow of shadows on the deed alone.

– William Butler Yeats


People who lean on logic and philosophy and rational exposition end by starving the best part of the mind.

– William Butler Yeats


To be born woman is to know – although they do not speak of it at school – women must labor to be beautiful.

– 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


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.

– 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 think it better that in times like these a poet’s mouth be silent, for in truth we have no gift to set a statesman right.

– William Butler Yeats


Out of Ireland have we come, great hatred, little room, maimed us at the start. I carry from my mother’s womb a fanatic heart.

– William Butler Yeats


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.

– William Butler Yeats


Why should we honour those that die upon the field of battle? A man may show as reckless a courage in entering into the abyss of himself.

– William Butler Yeats


I have known more men destroyed by the desire to have wife and child and to keep them in comfort than I have seen destroyed by drink and harlots.

– 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


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 is enough to make a bad man show him at his best, or even a good man swings his lantern higher.

– William Butler Yeats


You know what the Englishman’s idea of compromise is? He says, Some people say there is a God. Some people say there is no God. The truth probably lies somewhere between these two statements.

– William Butler Yeats


Books are but waste paper unless we spend in action the wisdom we get from thought – asleep. When we are weary of the living, we may repair to the dead, who have nothing of peevishness, pride, or design in their conversation.

– William Butler Yeats


You that would judge me, do not judge alone this book or that, come to this hallowed place where my friends’ portraits hang and look thereon Ireland’s history in their lineaments trace think where man’s glory most begins and ends and say my glory was I had such friends.

– William Butler Yeats


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