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William Butler Yeats Quotes


An Irish poet, dramatist and mystic. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1923.
(1865 - 1939)

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A line will take us hours maybe; Yet if it does not seem a moment's thought, our stitching and unstinting has been naught.
 

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

A statesman is an easy man, He tells his lies by rote; A journalist makes up his lies And takes you by the throat; So stay at home and drink your beer And let the neighbors vote.
[Politics]
 

Accursed who brings to light of day the writings I have cast away.
 

All empty souls tend toward extreme opinions.
[Opinion]
 

An aged man is but a paltry thing, a tattered coat upon a stick, unless soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing for every tatter in its mortal dress.
 

An intellectual hatred is the worst.
 

And say my glory was I had such friends.
 

Be secret and exult, Because of all things known That is most difficult.
 

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

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.
[Action]
 

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

But was there ever dog that praised his fleas?
 

Cast your mind on other days that we in coming days may be still the indomitable Irishry.
 

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

Come away, O human child: To the waters and the wild with a fairy, hand in hand, For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.
 

Come Fairies, take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame!
 

Dance there upon the shore; What need have you to care For wind or water's roar?
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Designs in connection with postage stamps and coinage may be described, I think, as the silent ambassadors on national taste.
 

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


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