William Butler Yeats Quotes

- Notable William Butler Yeats Quotes Index -

Born: June 13, 1865,
Birth Country:
Died: , January 28, 1939
Occupation: Author

1.
Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy, which sustained him through temporary periods of joy.
- William Butler Yeats

2.
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

3.
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

4.
Choose your companions from the best Who draws a bucket with the rest soon topples down the hill.
- William Butler Yeats

5.
Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.
- William Butler Yeats

6.
Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that but simply growth, We are happy when we are growing.
- William Butler Yeats

7.
I am of a healthy long lived race, and our minds improve with age.
- William Butler Yeats

8.
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

9.
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

10.
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

11.
I heard the old, old, men say 'all that's beautiful drifts away, like the waters.'
- William Butler Yeats

12.
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

13.
If suffering brings wisdom, I would wish to be less wise.
- William Butler Yeats

14.
In dreams begins responsibility.
- William Butler Yeats

15.
Man can embody truth but he cannot know it.
- William Butler Yeats

16.
Nor dread nor hope attend a dying animal a man awaits his end dreading and hoping all.
- William Butler Yeats

17.
One should not lose one's temper unless one is certain of getting more and more angry to the end.
- William Butler Yeats

18.
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

19.
People who lean on logic and philosophy and rational exposition end by starving the best part of the mind.
- William Butler Yeats

20.
Take, if you must, this little bag of dreams, Unloose the cord, and they will wrap you round.
- William Butler Yeats

21.
The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.
- William Butler Yeats

22.
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

23.
The innocent and the beautiful have no enemy but time.
- William Butler Yeats

24.
The light of lights looks always on the motive, not the deed, the shadow of shadows on the deed alone.
- William Butler Yeats

25.
The only business of the head in the world is to bow a ceaseless obeisance to the heart.
- William Butler Yeats

26.
The worst thing about some men is that when they are not drunk they are sober.
- William Butler Yeats

27.
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

28.
Think where man's glory most begins and ends, and say my glory was I had such friends.
- William Butler Yeats

29.
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

30.
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
- William Butler Yeats

31.
We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, but of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry.
- William Butler Yeats

32.
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

33.
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

34.
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

35.
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

Quotes by William Butler Yeats

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